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To 

HONORABLE  LELAND  STANFORD 

EX-GOVERNOR   OF  CALIFORNIA 
AND 

President  of  the  Central  Pacific  Railroad 
\Amicus  hutnani  generis\ 


THE 

FIELD  OF  HONOR: 


BEING 


A  COMPLETE   AND    COMPREHENSIVE  HISTORY 
OF  DUELLING  IN  ALL  COUNTRIES; 


INCLUDING 


The  Judicial  Duel  of  Europe,  the  Private  Duel  of  the 

Civilized  World,  and  Specific  Descriptions  of  All 

the  Noted  Hostile  Meetings  in  Europe 

and  America. 


By   MAJOR  BEN  C.  TRUMAN, 

Author  of  "THE  SOUTH  AFTER  THE  WAR,"     "SEMI-TROPICAL  CALIFORNIA, 
"OCCIDENTAL  SKETCHES,"  Etc. 


NEW  YORK : 

FORDS,  HOWARD,  &  HULBERT. 

1884. 


COPYRIGHT,  1883, 
By  BEN  C.  TRUMAN. 


R 
JT75 

'-7 


CONTENTS. 


PAGE 

INTRODUCTION 9 

CHAPTER 

I.  DUELLING  IN  FRANCE 19 

II.  DUELLING  IN  ENGLAND 30 

III.  DUELLING  IN  IRELAND  AND  SCOTLAND 39 

IV.  DUELLING  IN  GERMAN  COUNTRIES 54 

V.  DUELLING  IN  AMERICA 76 

VI.  INDIANS,  MEXICANS,  CUBANS,  JAPANESE 118 

VII.  VARIOUS  MODES  OF  FIGHTING 130 

VIII.  CLERGYMEN  AND  WOMEN 147 

IX.  DUELLING  IN  THE  DARK 161 

X.  NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS 179 

XI.  EUROPEAN  DUELS— Continued 204 

XII.  EUROPEAN  DUELS— Continued 221 

XIII.  EUROPEAN  DUELS — Concluded 242 

XIV.  NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS 258 

XV.  NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS — Continued 280 

XVI.  NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS — Continued 300 

XVII.  NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS — Continued 334 

XVIII.  NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS — Continued 366 


8  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  ,  PAGB 

XIX.  NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS — Continued 374 

XX.  NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS— Continued 383 

XXI.  NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS — Continued 392 

XXII.  NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS — Concluded 411 

XXIII.  BLOODLESS  DUELS 421 

XXIV.  THE  RAREST  KIND  OF  BRAVERY 434 

XXV.  DUELLISTS  OF  MANY  TYPES 448 

XXVI.  REMORSE  OF  DUELLISTS 476 

XXVII.  NOTABLE  ESCAPES 485 

XXVIII.  PATHOS  AND  SENTIMENT 493 

XXIX.  THE  ROMANCE  OF  DUELLING 504 

XXX.  HUMORS  AND  PLEASANTRIES  OF  THE  FIELD 528 

XXXI.  HUMORS  AND  PLEASANTRIES  OF  THE  FIELD — Con- 
cluded    553 


INTRODUCTION. 


DUELLING,  as  it  is  more  or  less  resorted  to,  even  to- 
day, in  civilized  countries,  undoubtedly  took  its  rise 
from  the  judicial  combats  of  Celtic  nations,  and  was 
first  introduced  among  the  Lombards,  in  659.  Un- 
like the  hostile  meetings  which  have  grown  out  of 
the  original  system,  the  early  duel  appears  to  have 
been  a  trial  by  combat  of  two  individuals  for  the 
determination  either  of  the  guilt  or  the  innocence  of 
the  person  charged  with  crime,  or  for  other  purposes 
of  decision.  This  early  mode  of  appeal  to  arms  as 
an  alternative  for  the  trial  by  ordeal,  as  the  reader 
will  perceive,  although  it  gave  birth  to  the  more 
modern  system  of  combat,  is  somewhat  different  from 
those  conflicts  of  the  present  age  which  are  the 
culminations  of  voluntary  challenges  or  defiances 
resorted  to  for  the  purpose  of  settling  disputes  sup- 
posed to  involve  the  honor  of  gentlemen — and  which 
last  custom  was  first  elevated  to  the  dignity  of  an 
institution  in  1308,  in  France,  by  one  Philip  le  Bel. 

It  is  proper  to  state,  before  proceeding  further,  that 
the  writer  is  aware  that  there  are  those  who  main- 
tain that  duelling  may  be  traced  back  to  the  Hebrews 
and  to  other  ancient  peoples  ;  and  that  the  mortal 
combats  between  David  and  Goliath,  1063  years 


I O  INTR  OD  UCTION 

B.C.;  Pittacus  and  Phyrnon,  547  B.C.;  Jonathan  and 
Pudens,  also  at  an  early  date ;  the  Horatii  of  the 
Romans  and  the  Curatii  of  the  Albans,  667  B.C.;  and 
other  lesser  scenes  of  mortal  combat,  have  been 
characterized  as  duels.  But  he  prefers  acquiescence 
in  the  views  entertained  by  those  eminent  authori- 
ties who  declare  that  "  no  trace  of  the  duel  as  an 
institution  is  to  be  found  in  the  history  of  the  classical 
nations  of  antiquity."  It  is  an  historical  fact  that 
Antony  sent  a  challenge  to  Caesar ;  still,  duelling  as 
an  institution  undoubtedly  took  its  rise,  as  has  been 
heretofore  stated,  about  the  middle,  or  possibly  at 
the  commencement,  of  the  seventh  century,  although 
authorized,  according  to  Blackstone,  in  501  by  Gunde- 
bald,  king  of  the  Burgundians. 

Simply,  the  appeal  to  arms,  as  we  may  justly  term 
the  judicial  combat,  was  an  appeal  to  high  Heaven, 
or  to  God  ;  and  none  were  exempt  from  the  trial  by 
battle  but  women,  the  sick  and  the  maimed,  and  per- 
sons under  sixteen  years  of  age  and  above  sixty; 
while  ecclesiastics,  priests,  and  monks  were  permitted 
to  produce  substitutes  (or  champions,  as  they  were 
called  in  that  day)  in  their  stead.  All  of  the  arrange- 
ments for  the  judicial  duel  were  of  the  most  solemn 
character,  and  elaborate  and  dramatic  almost  beyond 
belief.  This  custom  of  appeal  to  the  judgment  of 
God  seems  to  us,  in  the  present  day,  as  something 
wild  and  ridiculous,  and  more  sacrilegious  than  re- 
ligious ;  still,  as  will  be  seen  by  the  description  of 
the  judicial  battle  which  is  presented,  the  voice  of 
reason,  authority,  and  prudence  was  heard,  though  its 
dictates  were  utterly  mistaken;  and  it  will  also  be 
seen  that  the  combatants  seemingly  met  without 
anger,  and  left  vengeance  to  the  Great  Arbiter. 


INTRODUCTION.  II 

Even  before  the  practice  of  duelling  for  settling 
affairs  of  honor  took  its  rise,  however,  the  judicial 
battle  had  degenerated  into  a  convenient  pretext  for 
the  ceremonious  meeting  of  hostile  and  revengeful 
men  under  protection  of  law. 

The  general  practice  of  duelling  for  settling  affairs 
of  honor  may  be  said  to  have  commenced  in  the  year 
1527,  at  the  breaking  up  of  a  treaty  between  the 
Emperor  Charles  V.  and  King  Francis  I.,  the  former 
having  commanded  Francis'  herald  to  acquaint  his 
sovereign  that  he  (Charles)  would  henceforth  con- 
sider Francis  as  not  only  a  base  violator  of  public 
faith,  but  as  a  stranger  to  the  honor  and  integrity 
becoming  a  gentleman.  Francis,  too  high-spirited  to 
bear  such  an  imputation  with  composure,  had  re- 
course to  an  unusual  expedient  to  vindicate  his 
character  ;  and  instantly  sent  back  the  bearer  with  a 
cartel  of  defiance,  in  which  he  gave  Charles  the  lie  in 
form,  and  challenged  him  to  single  combat,  requiring 
him  to  at  once  name  the  time  and  place  of  the  pro- 
posed encounter,  and  the  weapons  with  which  he 
chose  to  fight.  Charles,  not  inferior  to  his  turbulent 
rival  in  spirit  or  bravery,  readily  accepted  the  chal- 
lenge ;  but,  after  several  messages  concerning  the 
arrangement  of  all  the  circumstances  relative  to  the 
hostile  meeting,  with  mutual  reproaches,  all  thoughts 
of  a  duel,  more  becoming  heroes  of  romance  than  the 
two  greatest  monarchs  of  the  age,  were  entirely  laid 
aside. 

But  the  example  of  two  personages  so  illustrious 
drew  such  general  attention,  and  carried  with  it  so 
much  authority,  that  it  created  an  important  change 
all  over  Europe;  and  duels,  which  had  hitherto j 
been  fought  under  judicial  appointment,  were  freely 


1 2  IN  TROD  UCTIOtf. 

indulged  in  without  the  interpretation  of  juris- 
prudence, and  in  cases  to  which  the  laws  did  not 
extend.  From  that  moment,  upon  every  affront  or 
injury  which  seemed  to  touch  his  honor,  a  gentleman 
considered  himself  entitled  to  draw  his  sword  and 
demand  reparation  from  his  adversary.  The  result 
was  that  men  of  fierce  courage  and  high  spirit,  and 
also  those  of  rude  manners,  were  quick  to  give  and 
take  offence  with  fatal  consequences  ;  much  of  the 
best  blood  of  Christendom  was  brutally  spilled,  many 
valuable  lives  were  surrendered,  and  at  some  periods 
war  itself  was  scarcely  more  destructive  than  these 
so-called  contests  of  honor.  So  cruel  and  outrageous 
did  the  custom  become,  that  noted  professional  duel- 
lists— many  of  whom  prided  themselves  upon  the 
advantages  they  had  taken — who  had  neither  wit, 
wisdom,  face,  figure,  nor  fortune,  came  into  great 
favor  with  women  in  England  and  France  ;  and  the 
sovereigns  of  Europe  became  so  alarmed,  at  this 
juncture,  at  the  dreadful  depopulation  of  chivalry 
and  gentry,  that  they  took  highly  aggressive  action 
in  favor  of  its  abatement. 

The  power  and  influence  of  the  Roman  Catholic 
Church,  even,  was  exerted  to  restrain  the  bloody 
despotism  of  the  bloody  code ;  and,  during  the 
twenty-fifth  session  of  the  Council  of  Trent,  it  was 
decreed  that  the  custom  was  detestable,  and  the 
Council  decreed  the  excommunication  of  seconds  and 
all  associates,  as  well  as  principals,  and  even  the 
lookers-on  at  a  duel.  It  claimed  that  the  custom  was 
created  by  Satan  for  the  destruction  of  body  and 
soul,  and  it  excommunicated  "all  advisers,  sup- 
porters, witnesses,  and  all  others  in  any  way  con- 
cerned." 


INTRODUCTION.  13 

But  there  has  been,  really,  no  time  in  its  history 
when  duelling  has  not  had  many  earnest  and  eminent 
opponents,  notwithstanding  the  esteem  in  which  true 
chivalry  and  valor  have  always  been  held  in  every 
age  and  country  ;  and  notwithstanding  the  popular 
reign  of  the  custom  itself  for  hundreds  of  years. 
When  Octavius  Caesar  received  a  challenge  from  Marc 
Antony  to  engage  him  in  single  combat,  he  very  calmly 
answered  :  "  If  Antony  is  weary  of  life,  tell  him  there 
are  other  ways  to  death  than  the  point  of  my  sword." 
This  was  the  noble  reply  of  one  of  the  most  illus- 
trious men  of  the  age  in  which  he  lived,  and  must 
have  commanded  the  admiration  of  all  who  loved  to 
behold  exhibitions  of  discretion  and  gallantry. 
Joseph  II.  of  Germany,  a  most  amiable  monarch,  was 
a  conspicuous  enemy  to  duelling,  and  has  left  his 
sentiments  on  record  :  "  The  custom  is  detestable," 
he  once  declared,  "and  shall  not  be  permitted  to 
thrive  in  my  army.  I  despise  men  who  send  and 
accept  challenges  to  meet  each  other  in  mortal  com- 
bat. Such  men,  in  my  estimation,  are  worse  than  the 
Roman  gladiators.  I  am  resolved  that  this  bar- 
barous custom,  which  is  worthy  of  the  age  of  Tamer- 
lane and  Bajazet,  and  which  is  so  often  fatal  to  the 
peace  of  families,  shall  be  punished  and  suppressed, 
though  it  should  cost  me  half  my  officers."  Henry 
II.  of  France,  after  the  death  of  his  beloved  Chas- 
taignerie,  made  a  solemn  vow  never,  during  his  reign, 
to  admit  of  another  duel  on  any  pretext  whatever. 
Henry  himself,  however,  met  his  death  by  a  blow 
from  Montgomeri's  lance  during  a  tournament  given 
in  honor  of  the  marriage,  by  proxy,  of  Elizabeth  to 
Philip  II.,  at  Paris.  Queens  Anne  and  Elizabeth, 
Charles  II.  and  George  III.,  of  England,  all  issued 


14  INTRODUCTION, 

vigorous  edicts  against  duelling.  It  may  be  inter- 
posed that  Elizabeth,  upon  receiving  the  intelligence 
of  the  marriage  of  Charles,  her  royal  lover,  declared 
in  a  state  of  great  rage  that  "  if  she  were  a  man,  she 
would  have  defied  him  to  single  combat."  So  she 
did.  But  Elizabeth  had  been  jilted,  the  reader  must 
understand,  and  she  was  necessarily  violently  angered. 
She  was  a  "woman  scorned,"  to  the  fullest  degree, 
and  was  not  in  her  proper  state  of  mind.  So,  too, 
when  Essex — after  his  fondness  for  Elizabeth  had 
somewhat  cooled — was  wounded  by  Blount  (who  had 
been  made  the  recipient  of  some  mark  of  the  Queen's 
favor),  the  haughty  daughter  of  Henry  declared,  dis- 
dainfully, that  she  was  gratified  to  know  "  that  some 
one  had  been  found  who  could  take  down  the  arro- 
gant Earl  and  teach  him  certain  proprieties." 

Alexander  Hamilton,  the  most  eminent  American 
ever  killed  in  duel,  left  a  paper  containing  his  opin- 
ions of  the  custom,  in  which  he  stated:  "  My  religious 
and  moral  principles  are  strongly  opposed  to  the 
practice  of  duelling;  and  it  would  ever  give  me  pain 
to  shed  the  blood  of  a  fellow-creature  in  a  private 
combat,  forbidden  by  the  laws."  And  yet,  in  twenty- 
four  hours  after  the  ink  had  become  dry  with  which 
those  imperishable  words  had  been  written,  this 
illustrious  statesman  and  general  had  fallen  mortally 
wounded,  and  had  yielded  up  a  noble  life  a  victim  to 
the  very  custom  whose  adamantine  mandates  he  did 
not  possess  sufficient  greatness  of  character  under  the 
circumstances  to  resist.  The  writer  has  never  been 
able  to  comprehend  how  it  was  possible  for  Hamil- 
ton to  have  met  Burr  in  mortal  combat — how  it  was 
possible  for  any  man  to  have  chanced^  the  extension 
of  the  circle  of  widows  and  orphans  who,  twenty-four 


INTRODUCTION.  1 5 

hours  before  his  fall  from  an  antagonist's  bullet,  had 
written  :  "  My  wife  and  children  are  extremely  dear 
to  me,  and  my  life  is  of  the  utmost  importance  to 
them,  in  various  views." 

What  a  contrast  was  the  course  of  United  States 
Senator  Barnwell  Rhett,  of  South  Carolina — the 
home  of  sectional  and  political  Hotspurs  during  ante- 
bellum days — in  his  answer  to  Senator  Jeremiah  Cle- 
mens, of  Alabama,  on  the  28th  of  February,  1852  ! 
Rhett  had  declared,  in  a  speech,  a  few  days  before,  in 
the  Senate  of  the  United  States,  that  he  was  in  favor 
of  the  exercise  of  the  right  of  secession  ;  and  claimed 
that,  "without  the  right  of  secession,  we  live  under  a 
consolidated  despotism."  Clemens,  in  reply,  charged 
the  South  Carolinian  with  knavery  and  treason  ;  and, 
again,  in  replying  to  further  remarks  from  Rhett, 
said  :  "  He  says  that  I  called  him  a  knave  and  a  trai- 
tor. No  man  who  heard  that  speech  of  mine  ever 
entertained  such  an  opinion  but  himself.  The  allu- 
sion to  knavery  was  an  illustration,  not  a  charge. 
But,  if  I  had  done  so,  the  subsequent  course  of  that 
Senator  justifies  me  in  adding  the  epithet  of  coward 
to  that  of  knave  and  traitor.  He  does  not  deserve 
the  character  of  a  man.  No  man,  with  the  feeling  of 
a  man  in  his  bosom,  who  believed  such  a  charge  was 
pending  against  him,  would  have  sought  redress  here  :  he 
would  have  looked  for  it  elsewhere  /"  This  was,  indeed, 
wrathful  and  inflammable  ;  and  the  portion  italicized 
is  incapable  of  but  one  meaning  :  it  was  an  unmis- 
takable invitation  for  Greek  to  meet  Greek  ;  or,  at 
least,  a  savage  intimation  that  the  turbulent  Ala- 
bamian  was  awaiting  a  challenge  from  the  impetuous 
Carolinian.  All  of  which  elicited  the  following  from 
Rhett,  in  the  course  of  an  elaborate  reply  :  "  But  my 


1 6  INTRODUCTION. 

second  reason  for  not  calling  the  Senator  from  Ala- 
bama into  the  field  was  of  a  still  higher  and  more 
controlling  nature.  For  twenty  years  I  have  been  a 
member  of  the  Church  of  Christ.  The  Senator 
knows  it ;  everybody  knows  it.  I  cannot  and  will 
not  dishonor  my  religious  profession.  /  frankly 
admit  that  I  fear  God  more  than  I  fear  man.  True  cour- 
age is  best  evinced  by  the  firm  maintenance  of  our 
principles  amidst  all  temptations  and  all  trials." 
There  was  an  exhibition  of  true  bravery  ;  which, 
while  it  may  have  spoiled  a  sensation,  saved  the  com- 
mission of  a  crime,  displayed  exceeding  nobility  of 
character,  and  possibly  kept  woe  and  mourning  from 
more  than  one  domestic  altar.  Volumes  might 
be  written,  interspersed  with  anecdotes  or  illustra- 
tions similar  to  the  foregoing,  to  demonstrate  the 
earnestness  of  the  opposition  to  duelling,  and  the 
characteristic  and  lasting  aversion  in  which  certain 
notorious  persons  are  held,  or  have  been  held,  who 
have  enjoyed  the  "  honor"  of  politely  killing  their 
fellow-man. 

Duelling,  however,  it  is  claimed  by  many,  has  had 
some  advantages,  especially  in  England,  Ireland,  and 
America  ;  and  to  the  custom  may,  in  a  degree,  so  it 
is  claimed,  be  ascribed  the  extraordinary  gentleness 
and  complaisance  of  modern  manners,  and  that  re- 
spectful attention  of  one  man  to  another  which  at 
present  renders  the  social  intercourse  of  life  far 
more  agreeable  and  careful  than  among  the  most 
civilized  and  cultivated  nations  prior  to  the  com- 
mencement of  the  century  in  which  we  live.  Those 
few  people  in  English-speaking  countries  who  defend 
duelling  at  present  do  so  on  the  ground  that  it  com- 
pensates for  the  insufficiency  of  legal  justice,  and  are 


IN  TROD  UC  TION.  1 7 

not  inclined  to  look  upon  the  custom  as  a  relic  of 
barbarism.  They  assume  that  law  is  not  as  effica- 
cious as  lead.  In  the  eradication  of  the  evil  they 
believe  that  an  offended  party  has  no  positive  means 
of  repairing  the  injury  put  upon  him  ;  or,  in  other 
words,  that  nothing  but  a  hostile  meeting  can  dissi- 
pate the  offence. 


THE   FIELD   OF  HONOR. 


CHAPTER   I. 
DUELLING  IN   FRANCE. 

Description  of  the  Judicial  Duel — Prohibition  of  Judicial  Duelling 
in  France — Rage  of  Private  Duelling  among  the  French — 
Startling  Statistics — Customs  in  France  at  the  Present  Time — 
The  Skewer-Duel  in  the  French  Army — The  Fencing-Schools  of 

Paris — Capricious  Vigeant— Rochefort,  Cassagnac,  Chapron,  and 

Clemenceau. 

THERE  is  a  very  ancient  edict  in  France  forbidding 
duels  in  all  civil  causes,  and  in  criminal  causes  limit- 
ing them  to  five  cases.  St.  Louis  afterward  took  off 
all  restrictions;  but  his  grandson,  Philip  the  Fourth, 
incited  by  a  motive  deserving  praise,  and  with  the 
hope  of  decreasing  the  amount  of  bloodshed,  restored 
the  restrictions  in  1303,  though  in  1308  he  estab- 
lished the  combat  in  criminal  cases.  As  nearly  as 
can  be  ascertained,  the  custom  of  judicial  combats 
was  kept  up  in  France  for  upward  of  nine  hundred 
years — say  from  about  660  until  1547.  The  great 
Due  de  Sully,  who  did  all  in  his  power  to  urge  his 
master,  Henry  IV.,  to  repress  duelling,  has  left  the 
best  account  of  the  manner  in  which  the  ancient  (or 
judicial)  duel  was  fought  that  can  be  found. 


2O  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

"In  the  first  place,"  says  De  Sully, "  nobody,  how- 
ever offended,  might  take  vengeance  in  his  own  right. 
They  had  their  judges  before  whom  he  that  thought 
himself  injured  was  to  give  an  account  of  the  wrong 
suffered,  and  demand  permission  to  prove,  in  the  way 
of  arms,  that  he  did  not  lay  upon  his  enemy  a  false 
accusation.  It  was  then  considered  as  shameful  to 
desire  blood  for  blood.  The  judge,  who  was  com- 
monly the  lord  of  the  place,  made  the  person  accused 
appear  before  htm;  and  never  allowed  the  decision  of 
battle — which  was  demanded  by  throwing  a  glove  (or 
some  other  pledge)  upon  the  ground — but  when  he 
could  get  no  other  proof  of  either  guilt  or  innocence. 
The  pledges  were  received,  and  the  judge  deferred 
the  decision  of  the  quarrel  to  the  end  of  two  months, 
during  the  first  of  which  the  two  enemies  were  deliv- 
ered, each  of  them,  to  common  friends,  upon  security 
for  their  forthcoming;  and  then  their  friends  endeav- 
ored, by  all  sorts  of  means,  to  discover  the  person 
criminal,  and  to  give  him  a  sense  of  the  injustice  of 
maintaining  a  falsehood,  from  which  he  could  expect 
nothing  but  the  loss  of  his  reputation,  of  his  life,  and 
of  his  soul ! — for  they  were  persuaded,  with  the  utmost 
degree  of  certainty,  that  Heaven  always  gave  the  vic- 
tory to  the  right  cause;  and,  therefore,  a  duel,  in  their 
opinion,  was  an  action  of  which  the  event  could  be 
determined  by  no  human  power.  When  the  two 
months  were  expired,  the  two  rivals  were  put  into  a 
close  prison  and  committed  to  the  ecclesiastics,  who 
employed  every  motive  to  make  them  change  their 
designs.  If,  after  all  this,  they  still  persisted,  a  day 
was  at  last  fixed  to  end  their  quarrel.  When  the  day 
was  come,  the  two  men  were  brought,  fasting  in  the 
morning,  before  the  same  judge,  who  obliged  both  of 


DUELLING  IN  FRANCE.  21 

them  to  declare  upon  oath  that  they  said  the  truth, 
after  which  they  were  permitted  to  eat;  they  were 
then  armed  in  the  presence  of  the  judge,  the  kind  of 
arms  being  likewise  settled;  four  seconds,  chosen  with 
much  ceremony,  saw  them  undressed  and  anointed  all 
over  the  body  with  oil,  and  saw  their  beards  and  hair 
cut  close.  They  were  then  conducted  into  an  enclosed 
ground,  and  guarded  by  armed  men,  having  been 
made  to  repeat,  for  the  last  time,  their  assertions  and 
accusations.  They  were  not  even  then  suffered  to 
advance  to  the  combat;  that  moment  their  seconds 
joined  them  at  the  two  ends  of  the  field  for  another 
ceremony  which,  of  itself,  was  enough  to  make  their 
weapons  drop  from  their  hands,  at  least  if  there  had 
remained  any  friendship  between  them.  Their  sec- 
onds made  them  join  hands,  with  the  fingers  of  one 
put  between  the  fingers  of  the  other;  they  demanded 
justice  from  one  another,  and  were  conjured  on  each 
side  not  to  support  a  falsity;  they  solemnly  promised 
to  act  upon  terms  of  honor,  and  not  to  aim  at  victory 
by  fraud  or  enchantment.  The  seconds  examined 
their  arms,  piece  by  piece,  to  see  that  nothing  was 
wanting,  and  then  conducted  the  principals  to  the 
two  ends  of  the  lists,  where  they  made  them  say  their 
prayers  and  make  their  confession;  then,  asking  each 
of  them  whether  he  had  any  message  to  send  to  his 
adversary,  they  suffered  them  to  advance,  which  they 
did  at  the  signal  of  the  herald,  who  cried,  from  with- 
out the  lists,  '  Let  the  brave  combatants  go  /'  After  this, 
it  is  true,"  concludes  De  Sully,  "  they  fought  without 
mercy,  and  the  vanquished,  dead  or  alive,  incurred  all 
the  infamy  of  the  crime  and  the  punishment.  He 
was  dragged  upon  a  hurdle  for  some  time  and  after- 
ward hanged  or  burnt,  while  the  other  returned,  hon- 


22  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

ored  and  triumphant,  with  a  degree  that  attested  him 
to  have  gained  his  suit,  and  allotted  him  all  manner 
of  satisfaction." 

Judicial  combats  were  prohibited  in  France  by 
Henry  II.,  by  an  edict  issued  in  1547 — the  death  of 
Francis  de  la  Chastaignerie  from  injuries  sustained  at 
the  hands  of  Guy  Chabot  de  Jarnac  having  greatly 
affected  the  King,  with  whom  the  fallen  Chastaignerie 
had  been  a  great  favorite.  Besides,  the  appeal  to 
high  Heaven,  as  it  were,  was  growing  unpopular  on 
general  principles;  and  combats  upon  points  of 
honor,  as  obscurely  established  by  Philip  le  Bel,  in 
1308,  were  getting  to  be  of  every-day  occurrence — no 
less  a  personage  than  Francis  I.,  who  had  been  de- 
feated and  taken  prisoner  at  Pavia,  on  February  24, 
1525,  having,  in  1528,  sent  a  challenge  to  the  Emperor 
Charles  V.,  just  before  the  Peace  of  Cambray.  Henry 
III.  (who  was  murdered  by  a  friar  named  Jaques  Cle- 
ment, on  August  i,  1589)  made  no  effort  during  his 
reign  to  check  the  growing  evil,  while  the  custom  had 
grown  to  involve  seconds  as  well  as  principals;  so 
that,  during  the  reign  of  Henry  IV. — who  issued 
edict  after  edict  against  a  custom  "  that  had  already 
cost  France,"  says  some  writer,  "  more  gentle  blood 
than  thirty  years  of  civil  war" — the  dreadful  mania 
had  swept  away  nearly  twenty  thousand  valuable  lives! 
Louis  XIII.,  however,  beholding  the  gradual  depopu- 
lation of  some  provinces  of  their  most  illustrious  per- 
sonages, proceeded  against  the  custom  with  unprece- 
dented severity,  and  caused  many  wounded  duellists 
to  be  dragged  violently  from  the  so-called  field  of 
honor  to  the  scaffold  of  dishonor.  This  mode  of 
bloody  and  otherwise  violent  dealing,  however,  cre- 
ated very  little  abatement;  rivulets  of  gentle  blood 


DUELLING  IN  FRANCE.  23 

still  continued  to  murmur  silently  away;  and  it  was 
not  until  Louis  XIV.  attained  his  majority  that  an 
impediment  was  successfully  raised  against  the  alarm- 
ing mania — the  movement  having  been  the  voluntary 
compact  of  noblemen,  and  others  of  undoubted  cour- 
age and  punctiliousness,  to  abstain  from  the  bloody 
practice.  Louis  XIV.,  perceiving  the  lull  that  had 
taken  place,  created  a  court  of  chivalry  in  1644  (the 
members  of  which  were  the  marshals  of  France), 
which  was  to  decide  on  all  those  questions  of  honor 
which  had  formerly  been  settled  permanently  on  san- 
guinary fields.  From  that  time  until  the  present 
there  has  been  a  general  slacking  off  of  the  bloody 
custom,  and  there  is  a  law  now  in  France  making 
killing  in  duels  punishable  as  homicide,  and  permit- 
ting civil  action  on  the  part  of  friends  of  persons 
slain,  while  officers  of  the  army  and  navy  (and  their 
seconds)  participating  in  duels  may  be  cashiered. 

Still,  duelling  in  France  has  never  received  a  quie- 
tus: and  never  will,  so  long  as  army  officers  permit 
private  soldiers  to  meet  in  mortal  combat  and  muti- 
late each  other  with  skewers;  and  so  long  as  the  fenc- 
ing-schools of  Paris  may  be  counted  by  the  score — 
the  flippant  pen  of  "  Mark  Twain"  to  the  contrary 
notwithstanding.  To  be  sure,  Louis  Veuillot  humor- 
ously declares  that  "  amongst  the  amusements  of 
Paris  must  be  counted  duels  between  journalists." 
He  undoubtedly  means  that  all  such  conflicts — 
whether  sanguinary  or  not — are  amusing  to  the  non- 
combatants,  just  as  it  is  fun  for  the  boy  who  stones 
the  frogs.  French  army  officers,  who  are  not  permit- 
ted by  law  themselves  to  meet  in  mortal  combat, 
claim  that  it  would  be  impossible  to  maintain  disci- 
pline and  dignity  in  the  army  without  from  ten  to 


24  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR, 

fifty  skewer-duels  per  regiment  annually  among  their 
men.  The  skewer-duel  is  brought  about  and  carried 
on  as  follows:  Two  soldiers  have  a  misunderstanding, 
and  possibly  exchange  sharp  words;  a  non-commis- 
sioned officer  learns  of  the  offence,  and  imprisons  the 
offender  for  twenty-four  hours;  then  they  are  led 
from  durance  vile,  and  furnished  with  seconds  and 
skewers;  and,  after  having  been  stripped  to  the  skin 
of  all  their  apparel  but  their  shoes  and  trousers,  they 
are  directed  to  thrust  away  at  each  other  with  said 
implements  of  culinary  use  until  one  or  the  other  is 
wounded  and  the  honor  of  each  is  satisfied.  "If  it 
were  not  for  the  prospect  of  that  pointed  rapier  be- 
fore them,"  says  some  writer,  "  these  soldiers  might 
sometimes  kick  and  maul  each  other  to  death."  As  it 
is,  these  duels  do  not  infrequently  terminate  tragi- 
cally. 

Theodore  Child,  writing  to  the  New  York  Sun 
from  Paris  in  December,  1882,  after  touching  upon 
the  practice  of  duelling  in  the  French  army,  says: 

Among  civilians  duelling  is  defended  on  the  ground  that 
generally  it  compensates  for  the  insufficiency  of  legal  justice. 
This  is,  of  course,  a  matter  of  opinion.  I  am  not  discussing : 
I  am  simply  explaining  the  French  point  of  view,  and  ac- 
counting for  a  phenomenon  which  we  Anglo-Saxons  are 
inclined  to  look  upon  as  a  relic  of  barbarism.  The  duel,  it 
will  be  objected,  does  not  give  the  offended  party  the  means 
of  repairing  the  wrong  that  has  been  done  him.  Materially, 
no ;  morally,  yes.  Opinion  has  ordained  that  the  single  fact 
of  the  combat  washes  away  the  offence.  Evidently,  if  a  man 
were  thirsting  for  vengeance,  assassination  would  be  a  surer 
means ;  but  precisely  the  equality  of  the  danger  and  the  loy- 
alty of  the  combat  give  to  the  duel  a  color  of  chivalry  which 
prevents  all  but  the  most  prejudiced  minds  from  confound- 
ing it  with  a  criminal  manoeuvre.  The  present  French  legis- 


DUELLING  IN  FRANCE.  2$ 

lation  has  no  special  law  against  duelling;  the  duellist  can 
only  be  prosecuted  as  a  murderer.  The  consequence  is  that 
the  authorities  rarely  or  never  interfere.  Opinion  has  sanc- 
tioned duelling,  and,  in  spite  of  the  edicts  of  Henry  IV.,  of 
Richelieu,  of  Louis  XIV.,  in  spite  of  the  eloquent  protesta- 
tion of  Jean  Jacques  Rousseau,  and  of  the  philosophers  of 
the  eighteenth  century,  it  continues  to  be,  in  France,  an 
important  social  institution.  Just  now  there  is  a  kind  of 
epidemic  of  duels  in  France.  Every  day  in  the  week  there 
are  meetings  in  the  woods  in  the  environs  of  Paris.  The 
combatants  no  longer  cross  the  frontier  as  of  old.  In  the 
first  place,  the  journey  to  the  Belgian,  German,  or  Spanish 
frontier  is  costly;  in  the  second  place,  a  Parisian  wit  has 
given  out  that  if  the  combatants  cross  the  frontier  it  is 
because  they  count  on  the  engagement  being  interrupted 
by  the  gendarmes.  Xhanks  to  the  toleration  of  the  police, 
engagements  may  safely  take  place  around  Paris ;  and  not 
long  ago  a  large  crowd  witnessed  a  duel  between  two  famous 
fencing-masters — Pons,  of  Paris,  and  the  Baron  de  San  de 
Mulato,  of  Naples.  This  duel  took  place  on  the  race-course 
at  Vesinet.  In  point  of  fact,  most  of  these  encounters  are 
not  very  serious  affairs.  The  journalists  of  Paris  often  fight 
to  get  themselves  and  their  papers  talked  about.  For  the 
benefit  of  duellists  of  this  class  an  ingenious  formula  has 
been  devised.  An  official  report  of  every  duel  is  forwarded 
to  all  the  newspapers  and  signed  by  the  seconds ;  in  this 
report  it  is  stated  that,  after  a  combat  of  such  and  such 
duration,  one  of  the  antagonists  received  a  scratch,  or  worse ; 
and  the  seconds,  considering  that  the  wound  would  render 
the  chances  unequal,  felt  themselves  called  upon  to  terminate 
the  encounter  and  declare  "  honor  to  be  satisfied."  Never- 
theless, the  frequency  of  duels,  from  whatever  motives,  has 
had  the  effect  of  causing  a  large  part  of  the  population  of 
France  to  frequent  the  fencing-rooms,  for  the  fashion  set 
by  Paris  is  followed  in  the  provinces,  and  the  provincial 
journals  also  have  their  head-line,  "Duels,"  like  their  Pa- 
risian models.  A  new  journal,  called  L'Escrzme,  has  been 
founded  under  high  patronage  to  meet  this  new  want  of 


26  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

French  society,  and  there  exists  a  splendid  volume,  called 
"The  Men  of  the  Sword,"  in  which  a  Parisian  expert  in 
matters  of  fencing  (the  Baron  de  Vaux)  has  analyzed  the 
form,  the  style,  and  the  performance  of  the  most  famous  con- 
temporary swordsmen.  In  short,  every  man  who  respects 
himself — every  young  fellow  who  pretends  to  be  stylish — 
must  pass  an  hour  or  two  every  day  in  the  fencing-rooms 
under  the  orders  of  his  trainer.  The  fencing-room  is  fash- 
ionable ;  and  public  opinion — or,  rather,  the  opinion  of  so- 
ciety under  the  Third  Republic — is  that  the  duel  preserves 
honor,  reputation,  and  dignity.  The  fencing-rooms  of  Paris 
are  counted  by  the  score,  and  the  profession  of  fencing- 
master  is  held  in  high  honor.  The  most  celebrated  of  the 
guild  is  Vigeant,  the  gentleman-master,  as  he  is  called 
by  the  Anglo-maniacs.  Vigeant  is  a  handsome  young  fellow 
who  affects  the  airs  of  Achilles  in  his  sulking  moods.  He  is 
very  touchy,  reserved,  and  capricious.  Some  say  he  poses. 
He  lives  in  a  handsome  apartment  in  the  second  story  at  91 
Rue  de  Rennes.  You  ring,  and  the  door  is  opened  by  a  fine 
muscular  man,  whom  you  at  once  recognize  as  a  provost  of 
the  profession.  He  introduces  you  into  the  cabinet  of  the 
master.  On  the  chimney-piece  is  a  seventeenth-century 
wood-engraving  representing  St.  Michael,  the  patron  saint 
of  fencers.  By  the  side  of  this  picture  is  another  of  Don 
Quixote,  sword  in  hand,  gravely  studying  in  some  book  of 
chivalry  thrusts  that  are  no  longer  secret.  In  the  corners 
are  rapiers  of  all  kinds  ;  on  the  walls,  engravings  of  fencing- 
scenes;  a  full-length  portrait  of  the  master,  by  Carolus 
Duran ;  right  and  left  two  book-cases  containing  a  unique 
collection  of  everything  that  has  been  written  on  fencing  for 
the  past  three  hundred  years ;  in  the  middle  a  table  covered 
with  books,  an  inkstand,  a  pen,  and  a  rapier.  It  is  here  that 
Vigeant  gives  consultations  on  his  art.  Next  in  reputation 
to  Vigeant  is  Merignac,  who  rarely  exhibits  his  skill  in  pub- 
lic. Then,  after  these  two  stars,  follow  the  lesser  celebrities 
— Mimiague,  Rouleau,  the  brothers  Robert,  Cain,  Gatechair, 
Pellerin,  Lautieri,  and  others.  Furthermore,  the  millionaires 
have  their  private  fencing-rooms,  one  of  the  most  splendid 


DUELLING  IN  FRANCE.  2/ 

of  which  is  that  of  M.  Edmond  Dollfus,  in  his  mansion  in 
tlfie  Rue  Presbourg,  where  an  assault  at  arms  took  place  last 
Sunday  in  presence  of  the  Mite  of  Parisian  high  life.  M. 
Dollfus  is  also  the  President  of  the  Fencing-Club.  This 
assault  was  a  most  imposing  affair.  The  proces  verbal  of  it, 
printed  in  gold  letters  on  parchment,  and  given  to  those 
who  took  part  in  the  tournament,  is  a  beautiful  work  of  art. 
Drawn  up  in  the  style  of  the  middle  ages,  this  document 
records  the  details  of  the  different  encounters,  and  thus 
describes  the  managers  of  the  tournament :  "  The  Tribunal 
of  Arms  that  directed  this  historical  festival  of  the  noble 
art  of  fencing,  to  wit :  His  Excellency  the  General  of  the 
French  Armies  Verge,  grand  master;  and  Messieurs  Mi- 
miague  et  Pons's  nephew,  masters  of  arms  of  the  first 
class  and  nobles  of  the  sword,  chancellors,  assisted  in  their 
high  and  delicate  functions  as  judges  of  the  camp  by  H.  E. 
the  high  and  puissant  Monsignor  Canrobert,  Marshal  of 
the  French  armies ;  by  H.  E.  M.  the  Marquis  de  Alta-Villa 
de  la  Puente,  grand  marshal  of  the  court  of  her  Majesty  the 
Queen-Mother  Dona  Isabel  de  Borbon  y  Borbon,  Catholic, 
Caesarian,  and  Imperial  Majesty  of  the  Spains  and  the  Indies, 
Lady  of  Biscay  and  Queen  of  Navarre;  by  H.  E.  M.  the 
Count  Ferdinand  de  Lesseps,  entitled  the  great  Frenchman  ; 
by  the  sieur  Legouve,  member  of  the  French  Academy ;  by 
the  noble  and  puissant  signiors  the  Baron  Antonio  de 
Ezpeleta,  the  Count  Potocki,  and  G.  de  Borda,  and  by  the 
sieurs  Wasckiewicz,  Dollfus  senior,  and  Paul  Granier  de 
Cassagnac,  also  noble  signiors."  In  the  above  extract 
from  this  fantastic  and  aristocratic  document  will  be  found 
some  of  the  great  names  among  the  amateur  swordsmen. 
The  five  reputedly  best  amateurs  are  MM.  Alfonso  de  Al- 
dama,  Ezpeleta,  the  Comte  de  Labenne,  the  Comte  Linde- 
mann,  De  Wa§ckiewicz,  and  De  Ferry  d'Esclands.  Among 
the  journalists  and  poets  who  are  famous  fencers  and  du- 
ellists may  be  mentioned  Aurelien  Scholl,  Leon  Chapron, 
Henry  Fouquier  of  the  XIX.  Siecle,  the  Baron  Harden- 
Hickey  of  the  royalist  journal  Le  Triboulet,  Arthur  Paul 
de  Cassagnac,  Ranc,  Jean  Richepin,  Albert  de  Saint-Albin 


28  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

(Robert  Milton  of  the  Figaro),  Rene  Maizeroi,  and  Ar- 
mand  Silvestre.  Among  painters  the  finest  blades  are 
Alfred  Stevens  and  Carolus  Duran.  In  Carolus  Duran's 
studio,  in  the  Rue  Notre  Dame  des  Champs,  the  most  con- 
spicuous objects  on  the  walls,  besides  the  pictures  and 
sketches,  are  a  mask,  glove,  and  rapier,  and  a  guitar. 
Carolus  is  a  very  brilliant  swordsman,  of  whom  his  master, 
Vigeant,  speaks  only  with  respect.  This  celebrated  artist, 
with  his  swaggering  gait,  his  lace  sleeve-ruffles,  his  fine 
voice,  and  his  varied  accomplishments,  ought  to  have  been 
born  in  the  sixteenth  century.  He  is  too  picturesque  for  our 
prosaic  times.  Alfred  Stevens,  too,  is  a  man  of  the  type  of 
the  gallant  knight  of  old.  I  need  not  say  that  fencing  does 
not  hurt  the  talent  of  either  of  these  excellent  painters.  For 
that  matter,  they  have  illustrious  predecessors  who  excelled 
in  the  two  arts.  Raphael  Sanzio  was  a  first-class  fencer. 
Benvenuto  Cellini,  Velasquez,  and  Salvator  Rosa  handled 
the  sword  in  perfection  ;  and  the  Spaniard  Ribera,  who  was 
killed  in  a  duel,  was  the  most  celebrated  bravo  of  all  the 
Spains.  In  a  list  of  Parisian  duellists  the  names  of  Henri 
Rochefort  and  Dr.  Clemenceau  must  not  be  omitted.  But 
neither  of  these  men  is  a  fencer ;  the  latter  is  a  dead  shot 
with  the  pistol ;  the  former  is  never  wanting  in  pluck  what- 
ever be  the  weapon  chosen.  In  the  combats  of  the  present 
day  the  pistol  is  very  rarely  used.  The  fashionable  weapon 
is  the  rapier  or  the  sabre.  It  is  different  from  the  days  of 
the  famous  Lord  Seymour,  when  the  gilded  youth  of  Paris 
found  it  necessary  to  be  accomplished  in  the  art  of  boxing, 
single-stick,  and  the  savate,  a  brutal  art  of  kicking  which  is 
to  a  Frenchman  what  fisticuffs  are  to  an  Anglo-Saxon.  The 
reader  may,  perhaps,  remember  that  Eugene  Sue,  in  his 
"  Mysteries  of  Paris,"  relates  how  Prince  Rudolphe  was  able 
to  vanquish  his  enemies  by  his  knowledge  of^the  manner  in 
which  the  lower  classes  settle  their  differences  when  they 
refrain  by  mutual  consent  from  using  their  knives.  Those 
were  the  days  when  the  Due  de  Grammont-Caderousse  and 
his  friends  used  to  sup  at  Philippe's  in  the  Rue  Montorgueil, 
and  the  natural  conclusion  to  the  carouse  was  a  hand-^o- 


DUELLING  IN  FRANCE.  2$ 

hand  fight  with  the  market  porters.  The  polished  youth 
of  to-day  take  no  delight  in  such  turbulent  sports.  Under 
the  direction  of  Saint-Michael,  Don  Quixote,  and  Master 
Vigeant,  the  present  duelling  and  fencing  mania  is  as  likely 
as  not  to  lead  to  a  renaissance  of  chivalry.  The  French 
under  the  Third  Republic  will  have  their  tournaments  and 
courts  of  arms,  their  knights  and  nobles  of  the  sword,  to 
correspond  to  the  aesthetic  eccentricities  of  their  neighbors 
across  the  Channel.  There  will  then  be  a  chance  for  "some 
witty  Tybalt  with  his  pen  prepared  "  to  write  a  companion- 
piece  to  "Patience"  or  the  "Colonel,"  all  bristling  with 
secret  thrusts  and  full  of  the  tac-tac  and  clashing  of  the 
weapons  of  satire  and  ridicule. 

Some  of  the  famous  French  duellists  have  appeared 
so  often  in  the  arena  that  their  names  are  as  familiar 
(as  doughty  champions  of  the  sword  and  pistol)  in 
the  United  States  as  in  France.  Of  these  are  the 
famous  Paul  de  Cassagnac  and  Henri  Rochefort. 
Dr.  Clemenceau  is  also  a  terror  to  his  foe,  as  he  is  a 
deadly  expert  with  the  pistol  and  no  mean  swords- 
man. For  anybody  to  meet  Paul  de  Cassagnac  is  a  sure 
passport  to  the  hospital  or  the  grave — pretty  much  as 
this  leonine  newspaper-man  chooses  to  be  merciless 
or  lenient.  Rochefort  is  also  a  very  effective  duellist, 
although  he  once  showed  his  fear  of  the  Imperialist 
bully  Cassagnac  by  declining  to  accept  his  challenge 
except  with  the  understanding  that  they  should  fight 
with  loaded  pistols,  breast  to  breast — a  proposition 
which  partook  of  the  profession  of  the  butcher  rather 
than  of  the  journalist,  and  which  Paul  very  properly 
declined.  Fatal  duels,  however,  are  rare  events  nowa- 
days in  France,  there  having  been  but  eight  deaths 
out  of  545  duels  fought  since  1869. 


30  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 


CHAPTER   II. 

* 

DUELLING  IN   ENGLAND. 

Rise  and  Fall  cf  Judicial  Duelling  (or  Trial  by  Wager  of  Battle)— 
Mode  of  Combat — Statistics  of  Private  Duelling — The  Duke  of 
Hamilton  and  Lord  Mohun — Lord  Howard  and  the  Duchess  of 
Shrewsbury — Colonel  Fawcett  and  Captain  Munroe — Lieuten- 
ants Seton  and  Hawkey — Article  of  War  against  Duelling  in  the 
British  Army. 

THE  custom  of  Judicial  Duelling  (or  Trial  by  Wager 
of  Battle)  was  introduced  into  England  for  accusa- 
tions of  treason  (if  neither  the  accused  nor  the  accuser 
could  produce  good  evidence)  during  the  reign  of 
William  II.,  in  1096.  Out  of  this  custom  grew  a  law 
in  England  whereby  a  man  charged  with  murder 
might  fight  the  appellant  for  the  purpose  of  making 
proof  of  his  guilt  or  innocence.  This  law  was  upon 
the  English  statute-book  for  two  or  three  hundred 
years,  but  was  struck  from  off  said  statute-book 
during  the  reign  of  George  III.,  in  1819 — and  on  ac- 
count of  the  following  incident:  In  1817  one  Abraham 
Thornton  was  charged  with  the  murder  of,  a  young 
maid  named  Mary  Ashford,  and  in  an  appeal  claimed 
his  right  by  the  "wager  of  battle"  (the  title  of  the 
Act),  which  the  court  allowed;  but  the  appellant  (the 
brother  of  the  murdered  girl)  refused  the  challenge 
(on  account  of  his  youth),  and  the  accuser  escaped  all 
punishment. 


DUELLING  IN  ENGLAND.  3! 

The  first  judicial  duel  ever  fought  in  England — the 
first  battle  by  single  combat — was  that  fought  before 
William  II.  and  his  peers  between  Geoffrey  Baynard 
and  William,  Earl  of  Eu.  The  latter  had  been  ac- 
cused of  high  treason  by  Baynard  in  1096,  and  was 
subsequently  conquered  in  combat,  and  therefore 
deemed  convicted.  This  system  was  brought  to  an 
end  in  1631  by  Charles  I.,  who  prevented  a  similar  en- 
counter between  Lord  Reay  and  David  Ramsay. 
One  of  the  latest  English  episodes  of  the  trial  by  bat- 
tle took  place  during  the  reign  of  Queen  Elizabeth,  in 
1571,  in  which  the  defendant  in  a  civil  case  instituted 
for  the  recovery  of  manorial  rights  in  the  Isle  of  Har- 
tic,  Kent,  offered  to  maintain  his  right  to  possession 
by  the  duel.  This  somewhat  astonished  the  court; 
but,  as  it  admitted  that  it  had  no  power  of  refusal, 
the  petitioners  accepted  the  challenge,  champions 
were  appointed,  and  the  proper  arrangements  forth- 
with made  perfect  for  the  judicial  combat;  and,  al- 
though an  edict  had  been  issued  by  the  Queen  (who 
wished  to  see  no  bloodshed)  that  the  parties  compro- 
mise, as  a  matter  of  justice  to  the  defendant,  who  had 
demanded  the  battle,  and  to  maintain  the  authority 
of  the  law,  it  was  decided  that  the  duel  must  be  per- 
mitted to  proceed.  This  was  the  last  judicial  combat 
in  England  in  a  civil  case,  although  one  occurred  in 
a  court  of  chivalry  in  1631,  and  a  similar  one  still  la- 
ter, in  1638. 

Like  the  judicial  duel  in  France,  the  form  and  man- 
ner of  waging  battle  upon  appeal  in  England  were 
characterized  by  remarkable  ceremonious  proceeding, 
while  the  oaths  of  the  two  combatants  were  vastly 
more  striking  and  solemn.  The  appellee,  when  ap- 
pealed of  felony,  pleaded  "Not  guilty,"  and  threw 


32  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

down  his  glove  and  declared  that  he  would  defend 
the  same  by  his  body.  The  appellant  then  took  up 
the  glove  and  replied  that  he  was  ready  to  make  good 
the  appeal,  body  for  body.  And  thereupon  the  ap- 
pellee took  the  Bible  in  his  right  hand,  and  in  his 
left  the  right  hand  of  his  antagonist,  and  swore  as 
follows:  "  Hear  this,  O  man,  whom  I  hold  by  the 
hand,  who  callest  thyself  John  by  the  name  of  bap- 
tism, that  I,  who  call  myself  Thomas  by  the  name  of 
baptism,  did  not  feloniously  murder  thy  father,  Wil- 
liam by  name,  nor  am  any  way  guilty  of  the  said 
felony;  so  help  me  God  and  the  saints;  and  this  I 
will  defend  against  thee  by  my  body,  as  this  court 
shall  award."  To  which  the  appellant  replies,  hold- 
ing the  Bible  and  his  antagonist's  hand  in  the  same 
manner  as  the  other:  "Hear  this,  O  man  whom  I 
hold  by  the  hand,  who  callest  thyself  Thomas  by 
name  of  baptism,  that  thou  art  perjured;  and  there- 
fore perjured  because  that  thou  feloniously  didst 
murder  my  father,  William  by  name;  so  help  me 
God  and  the  saints;  and  this  I  will  prove  against 
thee  by  my  body,  as  this  court  shall  award."  A  day 
is  then  set  for  the  battle,  arms  selected  (batons),  and 
the  same  oaths  administered  as  in  French  courts 
against  the  use  of  amulets  and  sorcery.  In  the  com- 
bat, "  if  the  appellee  be  so  far  vanquished  that  he 
cannot  or  will  not  fight  any  longer,  he  shall  be  ad- 
judged to  be  hanged  immediately;  and  then,  as  well 
as  if  he  be  killed  in  battle,  Providence  is  deemed  to 
have  determined  in  favor  of  the  truth,  and  his  blood 
shall  be  attainted.  But  if  he  kills  the  appellant,  or 
can  maintain  the  fight  from  sun-rising  till  the  stars 
appear  in  the  evening,  he  shall  be  acquitted.  So, 
also,  if  the  appellant  becomes  recreant,  and  pro- 


DUELLING  IN  ENGLAND.  33 

nounces  the  horrible  word  craven  (which  means  that 
he  craves  or  begs  for  his  life  from  his  antagonist),  he 
shall  lose  his  liberam  legem  (that  is,  he  shall  lose  his 
right  of  law),  and  become  infamous;  and  the  appellee 
shall  recover  his  damages,  and  also  be  forever  quit, 
not  only  of  the  appeal,  but  of  all  indictments  likewise 
for  the  same  offence." 

The  following  is  taken  from  "  Cobbett's  'Complete 
Collection  of  State  Trials"  (vol.  iii.,  p.  515),  .pub- 
lished in  London  in  1809,  and  has  reference  to  the 
manner  of  combat:  "And  forthwith  there  shall  be  an 
oyez  or  proclamation  made,  that  none  shall  be  so  bold 
but  the  combatants  to  speak  or  do  anything  that 
shall  disturb  the  battle:  and  whosoever  shall  do 
against  this  proclamation  shall  suffer  imprisonment 
for  a  year  and  a  day.  Then  they  shall  fight  with 
weapons,  but  not  with  any  iron,  but  with  two  staves 
or  bastons  tipt  with  horn,  of  an  ell  long,  both  of 
equal  length,  and  each  of  them  a  target,  and  with  no 
other  weapon  may  they  enter  the  lists.  And  if  the 
defendant  can  defend  himself  till  after  sunset,  till  you 
may  see  the  stars  in  the  firmanent,  and  demand 
judgment  if  he  ought  to  fight  any  longer,  then  there 
must  be  judgment  given  on  the  defendant's  side." 

Verstegan,  the  antiquary,  in  his  curious  book  en- 
titled "  Restitution  of  Decayed  Intelligence  in  An- 
tiquities concerning  the  Most  Noble  and  Renowned 
English  Nation,"  says:  "In  the  trial  by  single  com- 
bat, or  camp-fight,  the  accuser  was  with  the  peril  of 
his  own  body  to  prove  the  accused  guilty,  and,  by 
offering  him  his  glove,  to  challenge  him  to  this  trial: 
the  which  the  other  must  either  accept  of  or  else  ac- 
knowledge himself  culpable  of  the  crime  whereof  he 
was  accused.  If  it  were  a  crime  deserving  death, 


34  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

then  was  the  camp-fight  for  life  and  death,  and  either 
on  horseback  or  on  foot.  If  the  offence  deserved  im- 
prisonment and  not  death,  then  was  the  camp-fight 
accomplished  when  the  one  had  subdued  the  other, 
by  making  him  to  yield,  or  unable  to  defend  himself, 
and  so  be  taken  prisoner.  The  accused  had  the  lib- 
erty to  choose  another  in  his  stead,  but  the  accuser 
must  perform  it  in  his  own  person,  and  with  equality 
of  weapon.  The  priests  and  people  that  were  specta- 
tors did  silently  pray  that  the  victory  might  fall  unto 
the  guiltless.  And  if  the  fight  were  for  life  or  death, 
a  bier  stood  ready  to  carry  away  the  dead,  body  of 
him  that  should  be  slain.  None  of  the  people  might 
cry,  shriek  out,  make  any  noise,  or  give  any  sign 
whatsoever;  as  the  executioner  stood  beside  the 
judges,  ready  with  an  axe  to  cut  off  the  right  hand 
and  left  foot  of  the  party  so  offending.  He  that  (be- 
ing wounded)  did  yield  himself  was  at  the  mercy  of 
the  other,  to  be  killed  or  to  be  let  live.  If  he  were 
slain,  then  was  he  carried  away  and  honorably  buried; 
and  he  that  slew  him  reputed  more  honorable  than 
before.  But  if,  being  overcome,  he  were  left  alive, 
then  was  he  by  sentence  of  the  judges  declared  utter- 
ly void  of  all  honest  reputation,  and  never  to  ride  on 
horseback  nor  carry  arms." 

[If  the  reader  wishes  to  inform  himself  very  fully 
upon  this  subject,  he  may  consult  Lord  Coke's  3d 
Inst.,  c.  2,  p.  26;  also  Blackstone's  Comm.,  b.  iv.,  c. 
19,  §4,  and  c.  27,  §3;  also  "  Cobbett  s  Complete  Col- 
lection of  State  Trials,"  vol.  iii.,  pp.  483,  511,  and 
518;  also  an  account  of  the  "Trial  by  Battle  from 
Minshew's  Dictionary."] 

Duelling  did  not  prevail  as  a  custom  in  England 
until  late  during  the  reign  of  Queen  Elizabeth;  at 


DUELLING  IN  ENGLAND.  35 

which  period  Vincentio  Saviolo,  a  little  Italian  fenc- 
ing-teacher of  violent  temper  and  affected  punctil- 
iousness, published  a  small  volume  entitled  "  A 
Treatise  of  Honor,"  which  was  at  once  adopted 
(1594)  by  certain  parties  as  a  standard  work  of  refer- 
ence in  cases  of  "  honor  involved."  From  1594  until 
1713  much  precious  blood  was  spilled  in  England, 
Scotland,  and  Ireland  upon  "  fields  of  honor,"  most  of 
the  combats  during  that  time  having  been  carried  on 
by  the  use  of  small  swords,  which  had  been  intro- 
duced into  England  in  1587.  But  the  fatal  duel  be- 
tween the  Duke  of  Hamilton  and  Lord  Mohun 
(which  was  fought  with  small  swords  in  Hyde  Park 
on  November  15,  1712,  and  in  which  the  latter  was 
killed  on  the  spot,  while  the  Duke  expired  of  his 
wounds  as  he  was  being  conveyed  to  his  carriage) 
created  much  sensation  throughout  England,  and  an 
attempt  was  made  in  the  House  of  Commons  a  short 
time  afterward  to  enact  a  bill  for  the  suppression  of 
duelling,  which  'was  an  effective  entering  wedge, 
although  the  bill  was  lost  on  the  third  reading. 
From  that  time,  however,  until  the  present,  con-*- 
tinued  efforts  have  been  made  in  England  to  constitute 
duelling  an  offence;  and  in  1679  Charles  II.  issued  a 
proclamation  that  any  person  killing  another  in  a 
duel  should  be  held  for  trial,  and  upon  conviction 
should  not  be  pardoned — and  yet,  during  this 
Charles's  reign  (from  May  29,  1660,  to  February  6, 
1685),  there  took  place  196  duels,  in  which  75  per- 
sons were  killed  and  108  wounded,  upon  English  soil. 
Indeed,  duelling  was  carried  to  its  greatest  possible 
excess  during  the  reigns  of  James  I.  and  the  two 
Charleses;  and  in  the  reign  of  the  latter  the  seconds 
always  fought  as  well  as  the  principals — in  fact  the 


36  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

latter  generally  selected  their  seconds  with  regard  to 
their  courage  and  adroitness. 

It  was  during  the  reign  of  Charles  II.  that  Lord 
Howard,  of  Carlisle,  gave  a  grand  fete-champetre  at 
Spring  Gardens,  near  the  village  of  Charing — the 
Vauxhall  of  that  day.  This  fete  was  to  facilitate  an 
intrigue  between  Lord  Howard  and  the  profligate 
Duchess  of  Shrewsbury;  but  the  gay  and  fascinating 
Sidney  flirted  with  the  Duchess,  abstracted  her  atten- 
tion from  Howard,  and  ridiculed  the  festivities. 
Early  on  the  following  day,  Howard  sent  a  challenge 
to  Sidney,  who  chose  as  his  second  a  young  giant 
named  Dillon, — a  noted  furious  and  adroit  swordsman, 
— while  his  Lordship  selected  a  young  gentleman 
named  Rawlings,  who  had  just  come  into  possession 
of  an  estate  with  an  income  of  ^10,000  a  year.  Sid- 
ney received  three  serious  thrusts  from  Howard,  and 
was  taken  from  the  field  dangerously  wounded, 
whilst  his  second  was  run  through  the  heart  and  left 
dead  in  his  tracks.  Upon  the  receipt  of  this  news  the 
Duke  of  Shrewsbury  became  greatly  excited,  and 
challenged  the  infamous  Buckingham  for  intriguing 
with  his  wife.  The  challenge  was,  of  course,  accepted, 
and  the  Duchess,  disguised  as  a  page,  accompanied 
Buckingham  to  the  field,  and  held  his  horse  while  he 
fought  and  killed  her  husband.  The  slaying  of 
Shrewsbury  was  characterized  as  a  cold-blooded  mur- 
der; still,  the  King,  in  spite  of  every  remonstrance 
from  the  Queen,  received  Buckingham  with  open 
arms  a  short  time  after  this  brutal  outrage. 

In  172  duels  fought  in  England  during  a  stated 
period,  69  persons  were  killed  (in  three,  neither  of 
the  combatants  survived);  96  persons  were  wounded, 
' — 48  desperately  and  48  slightly, — and  188  escaped 


DUELLING  IN  ENGLAND.  $? 

unhurt.  Thus,  rather  more  than  one  fifth  lost  their 
lives,  and  nearly  one  half  received  the  bullets  or 
thrusts  of  their  antagonists.  It  appears,  also,  that, 
out  of  this  number  of  duels,  eighteen  trials  took 
place;  six  of  the  arraigned  were  acquitted,  seven  were 
found  guilty  of  manslaughter,  and  three  of  murder; 
two  were  executed,  and  eight  were  imprisoned  for 
different  periods. 

The  custom  was  checked  in  the  army  in  1792,  dur- 
ing the  reign  of  George  III.,  but  received  its  severest 
check  in  the  army  and  navy  of  Great  Britain  in  1844, 
by  an  article  of  war  which  rendered  duelling  an 
offence  punishable  by  cashiering:  and  which  was 
urged  through  Parliament  on  account  of  the  san- 
guinary meeting  of  Colonel  Fawcett  and  Captain 
Munroe  (at  which  the  former  was  killed),  July  i, 
1843.  On  May  20,  1845,  however,  two  army  officers 
(Lieutenant  Seton  and  Lieutenant  Hawkey)  met  in 
hostile  encounter,  and  the  former  was  killed.  This 
tragic  affair  produced  a  renewed  opposition  to  the 
custom,  and  a  society  "  for  the  discouraging  of  duel- 
ling" was  at  once  established;  and  since  that  time,  on 
account  of  the  influence  of  public  opinion  and  the 
terrors  of  the  law,  the  practice  of  duelling  in  Eng- 
land may  be  said  to  have  almost  wholly  ceased  to 
exist.  The  following  is  the  article  of  war  referred  to 
for  the  repression  of  duelling  in  the  armies  of  Great 
Britain  (and  there  are  other  laws  of  a  similar  char- 
acter) : 

"  Every  officer  who  shall  give  or  send  a  challenge, 
or  who  shall  accept  any  challenge,  to  fight  a  duel  with 
another  officer,  or  who,  being  privy  to  an  intention  to 
fight  a  duel,  shall  not  take  active  measures  to  prevent 
such  duel,  or  who  shall  upbraid  each  other  for  refus- 


38  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

ing,  or  for  not  giving,  a  challenge,  or  who  shall 
reject,  or  advise  the  rejection  of,  a  reasonable  propo- 
sition made  for  the  honorable  adjustment  of  a  diffi- 
culty, shall  be  liable,  if  convicted  before  a  general 
court-martial,  to  be  cashiered,  or  suffer  such  other 
punishment  as  the  court  may  award." 


DUELLING  IN  IRELAND  AND   SCOTLAND.     39 


CHAPTER  III. 
DUELLING  IN  IRELAND  AND  SCOTLAND. 

The  Irish  and  Scotch  Passion  for  Duelling — Qualifications  of 
Irish  Respectability:  "What  Family  is  he  of?  Did  he  ever 
blaze  ?" — Sir  Jonah  Barrington's  Felicity — How  Two  Irishmen 
met  Two  Gentlemen  from  London — Melancholy  and  Furious 
Encounters  in  Scotland — The  Troubles  of  a  Royal  Husband — 
The  Law  of  Combat  by  the  Best  Authorities—A  Codification 
that  covers  Delicate  Questions. 

THE  Emerald  Isle  may  be  said  to  be  dotted  all 
over  with  "  fields  of  honor,"  so  thick  and  fast  and 
furious  have  been  the  deadly  encounters  among  the 
"wearers  of  the  green;"  particularly  during  the  days 
of  the  old  Parliament  in  College  Green,  Dublin,  at 
which  time  it  was  deemed  not  injudicious  for  the  as- 
piring barrister  to  purchase  a  case  of  pistols  and  the 
necessary  law-books  at  the  same  time.  Indeed,  it 
is  related  of  Hutchinson,  the  Provost  of  Trinity  Col- 
lege (himself  a  noted  duellist),  that,  when  a  certain 
student  approached  him  with  importunities  regard- 
ing a  course  of  legal  study,  he  directed  the  young 
aspirant  to  buy  a  case  of  pistols  and  to  learn  their 
use;  "as,"  added  Hutchinson,  "they  will  get  you 
along  faster  than  Fearne  or  Blackstone."  This  was 
literally  "teaching  the  young  idea  how  to  shoot." 
O'Connell,  Curran,  Grattan,  McNamara,  Castlereagh, 
Sheridan,  Barrington,  Fitzgibbon,  Flood,  O'Brien, 


4O  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

O'Gorman,  and   many  other  Irishmen  of  note,  have 
all  fought  within  the  lists. 

Judicial  duelling  was  established  in  Ireland  in  the 
year  noo,  and  flourished  until  1631,  during  which  time 
many  sanguinary  combats  occurred;  one  of  the  most 
remarkable,  as  well  as  one  of  the  most  tragic,  having 
been  that  which  took  place  in  1533,  at  Dublin  Castle, 
before  the  lords  justices  and  council,  between  Connor 
MacCormack  O'Connor  and  Teig  MacGilpatrick 
O'Connor,  in  which  the  former  was  severely  wounded 
many  times,  and  was  ultimately  despatched  and  had 
his  head  cut  off  and  presented  to  the  lords  justices  by 
the  victorious  Teig.  It  was  after  the  degeneracy  of  the 
judicial  duel,  however,  that  the  custom  in  Ireland  took 
on  its  most  desperate  shape,  and  became  popular  as 
an  institution;  and  it  was  long  after  its  general  de- 
cline in  England  that  lovers  of  duelling  in  Ireland 
grudgingly  relinquished  their  fondness  for  a  custom 
that  had  brought  into  the  field  so  many  intrepid  fel- 
lows and  capital  shots.  It  has  been  stated  by 
some  writer  on  the  subject  that  no  duels  are  palat- 
able to  both  parties  except  those  that  are  engaged  in 
from  motives  of  revenge.  From  a  general  stand- 
point this  is  undoubtedly  true;  and  your  Irish  duel- 
list was  seldom  an  exception.  But  one  of  the  greatest 
and  most  distinguished  of  all  the  Irish  fighters  (Cur- 
ran)  was  probably  the  least  ferocious,  at  least  after 
the  preliminaries  of  combat  had  been  perfectly  ar- 
ranged. Curran's  charming  impudence  and  humor 
never  abandoned  him — he  may  have  met  Hobart, 
Fitzgibbon,  and  Burrowes  with  hostility  in  his  eye, 
but  he  must  also  have  met  them  with  a  smile  upon  his 
lips.  When  the  second  of  Peter  Burrowes  stated  to 
Curran's  second  that  his  principal  was  in  a  very  feeble 


DUELLING  IN  IRELAND  AND  SCOTLAND.     41 

condition,  and  wanted  to  be  allowed  to  lean  against 
a  milestone  during  the  exchange  of  shots;  and  Cur- 
ran,  after  listening  to  the  invalid's  ingenuous  request, 
responded,  "  Certainly,  provided  I  am  allowed  to 
lean  against  the  next  milestone,"  there  must  have 
been  twinkles  in  his  eyes  as  well  as  smiles  at  his  lips. 
At  the  present  time  duelling  is  at  a  great  discount  in 
Ireland,  and  the  laws  against  the  custom  are  pretty 
rigidly  enforced. 

Sir  Jonah  Harrington,  Judge  of  the  High  Court  of 
Admiralty  in  Ireland  (a  noted  duellist  in  his  day),  in 
his  "  Personal  Sketches  of  his  Own  Times,"  devotes 
two  chapters  to  Irish  duellists  and  duelling,  and  says 
that  "  Single  combat  was  formerly  a  very  prevalent 
and  favorite  mode  of  administering  justice  in  Ireland; 
and  not  being  considered  so  brutal  as  bull-fights,  or 
other  beastly  amusements  of  that  nature,  it  was  au- 
thorized by  law,  and  frequently  performed  before  the 
high  authorities  and  their  ladies — bishops,  judges, 
and  other  persons  of  high  office  generally  honoring 
the  spectacle  with  their  presence.  Two  hundred  and 
twenty-seven  memorable  and  official  duels  have  actu- 
ally been  fought  during  my  grand  climacteric.  .  .  . 
In  my  time  the  number  of  killed  and  wounded  among 
the  bar  was  very  considerable.  It  is,  in  fact,  incredible 
what  a  singular  passion  the  Irish  gentlemen  (though 
in  general  excellent-tempered  fellows)  formerly  had 
for  fighting  each  other  and  immediately  making 
friends  again.  A  duel  was,  indeed,  considered  a 
necessary  part  of  a  young  man's  education,  but  by  no 
means  a  ground  for  future  animosity  with  his  oppo- 
nent. .  .  .  When  men  had  a  glowing  ambition  to  ex- 
cel in  all  manner  of  feats  and  exercises  they  naturally 
conceived  that  manslaughter,  in  an  honest  way  (that 


42  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

is,  not  knowing  which  would  be  slaughtered),  was  the 
most  chivalrous  and  gentlemanly  of  all  their  accom- 
plishments. No  young  fellow  could  finish  his  educa- 
tion till  he  had  exchanged  shots  with  some  of  his 
acquaintances.  .  .  .  The  two  first  questions  always 
asked  as  to  a  young  man's  respectability  and  qualifi- 
cations, particularly  when  he  proposed  for  a  lady 
wife,  were,  'What  family  is  he  of?'  and  'Did  he 
ever  blaze?'  .  .  .  Tipperary  and  Galway  were  the 
ablest  schools  of  the  duelling  science.  Galway  was 
most  scientific  at  the  sword,  and  Tipperary  most 
practical  and  prized  at  the  pistol;  Mayo  not  amiss  at 
either,  while  Roscommon  and  Sligo  had  many  pro- 
fessors and  a  high  reputation  in  the  leaden  branch  of 
the  pastime.  .  .  .  Our  elections  were  more  prolific 
in  duels  than  any  other  public  meetings;  they  very 
seldom  originated  at  a  horse-race,  hunt,  or  any  place 
of  amusement.  ...  I  think  I  may  challenge  any 
country  in  Europe  to  show  such  an  assemblage  of 
gallant  judicial  and  official  antagonists  at  fire  and 
sword  as  is  exhibited  in  the  following  partial  list: 
The  Lord  Chancellor  of  Ireland,  Lord  Clare,  fought 
the  Master  of  the  Rolls,  Curran.  The  Chief-Justice 
K.  B.,  Lord  Clonmel,  fought  Lord  Tyrawly  (a  Privy 
Councillor),  Lord  Llandoff,  and  two  others.  The 
judge  of  the  county  of  Dublin,  Egan,  fought  the 
Master  of  the  Rolls,  Roger  Barrett,  and  three  others. 
The  Chancellor  of  the  Exchequer,  the  Right  Honor- 
able Isaac  Corry,  fought  the  Right  Honorable  Henry 
Grattan  (a  Privy  Councillor)  and  another.  A  Baron 
of  the  Exchequer,  Baron  Medge,  fought  his  brother- 
in-law  and  two  others.  The  Chief-Justice  C.  P.,  Lord 
Norbury,  fought  Fire-eater  Fitzgerald  and  two  other 
gentleman,  and  frightened  Napper  Tandy  and  seve- 


DUELLING  IN  IRELAND   AND   SCOTLAND.     43 

ra.  besides.  The  judge  of  the  Prerogative  Court, 
Dr.  Duigenan,  fought  one  barrister  and  frightened 
another  on  the  ground.  The  Chief  Counsel  to  the 
Revenue,  Henry  Deane  Grady,  fought  Counsellor 
O'Mahon,  Counsellor  Campbell,  and  others.  The 
Master  of  the  Rolls,  Curran,  fought  Lord  Bucking- 
hamshire, the  Chief  Secretary.  The  Provost  of  the 
University  of  Dublin,  the  Right  Honorable  Hely 
Hutchinson,  fought  Mr.  Doyle,  Master  in  Chancery, 
and  some  others.  The  Chief-Justice  C.  P.  Patter- 
son fought  three  country  gentlemen,  one  of  them 
with  swords  and  the  others  with  guns,  and  wounded 
all  of  them.  The  Right  Honorable  George  Ogle  (a 
Privy  Councillor),  fought  Barney  Coyle  (a  distiller), 
because  he  was  a  papist.  Thomas  Wallace,  K.C., 
fought  Mr.  O'Gorman,  the  Catholic  Secretary.  The 
Collector  of  Customs  of  Dublin,  the  Honorable  Fran- 
cis Hutchinson,  fought  the  Right  Honorable  Lord 
Mountmorris.  The  reader  of  this  dignified  list  will 
surely  see  no  great  indecorum  in  an  admiralty  judge 
having  now  and  then  exchanged  broadsides,  more  es- 
pecially as  they  did  not  militate  against  the  law  of 
nations." 

In  the  reign  of  Queen  Anne  party  spirit  ran  very 
high,  particularly  in  the  city  of  Dublin,  where  duels 
were  fought  almost  daily  on  account  of  politics.  Two 
gentlemen  of  London — Major  Park  and  Captain  Creed 
— who  valued  themselves  highly  on  their  skill  in 
fencing,  hearing  of  the  frequency  of  "affairs  of  honor" 
in  Dublin,  like  true  knights-errant,  resolved  to  go 
there  in  quest  of  adventures.  On  inquiry  they  learned 
that  Mr.  Mathew,  of  Thomastown,  in  Tipperary,  who 
had  recently  arrived  from  France,  had  the  character 
of  being  one  of  the  finest  swordsmen  in  Europe. 


44  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Park,  rejoicing  to  find  a  worthy  antagonist,  resolved, 
on  the  first  opportunity,  to  have  a  trial  of  skill  with 
him.  This  was  soon  the  case,  and  the  parties  met  at 
a  tavern,  Mathew  accompanied  by  a  Mr.  Macnamara, 
and  Major  Park  attended  by  his  friend  Creed.  The 
doors  being  secured,  Park  and  Mathew,  without  par- 
ley or  explanation,  drew  their  swords;  but  Macna- 
mara stopped  them  and  said  that  it  was  impossible 
for  him,  in  cases  of  such  a  nature,  to  remain  a  cool 
spectator;  and  then,  addressing  himself  to  Captain 
Creed,  continued:  "If  you  please,  sir,  I  shall  have  the 
honor  of  entertaining  you  in  the  same  manner." 
Creed,  who  desired  nothing  better,  replied  by  drawing 
his  sword,  and  at  it  the  four  champions  went.  The 
conflict  was  of  long  duration,  and  was  maintained 
with  remarkable  skill  and  obstinacy  by  the  two  offi- 
cers, notwithstanding  the  great  effusion  of  blood  from 
the  many  wounds  they  had  received.  At  length, 
completely  exhausted,  they  both  fell,  and  yielded  the 
victory  to  the  superior  skill  of  their  antagonists. 
The  number  of  wounds  received  by  the  vanquished 
parties  was  very  great;  and,  what  seems  almost  mi- 
raculous, their  opponents  were  untouched.  The  sur- 
geons, who  were  at  once  called,  seeing  the  desperate 
state  of  their  patients,  would  not  suffer  them  to  be 
removed  from  the  room  in  which  they  had  ,  fought, 
but  had  beds  immediately  taken  into  it,  on  which  the 
two  wounded  officers  lay  many  hours  in  a  state  of 
danger  and  insensibility.  When  they  were  able  to  see 
visitors,  Mathew  and  Macnamara  called  and  attended 
them  daily;  and  a  close  friendship  and  intimacy  after- 
ward ensued,  as  they  found  their  fallen  antagonists 
gentlemen  of  strict  honor  and  integrity,  and  of  the 
best  dispositions,  except  in  their  Quixotish  fondness 


DUELLING  IN  IRELAND  AND   SCOTLAND.     45 

for  duelling,  of  which  they  had,  however,  become 
completely  cured. 

Scotland  never  took  the  same  popular  interest  in 
duelling  as  its  impetuous  neighbor;  and,  as  early  as 
1580,  although  licenses  for  mortal  combats  could  be 
.obtained  from  the  Crown,  the  killing  of  a  person  in  a 
duel  without  a  license  could  be  called  murder.  Judi- 
cial duelling  was  introduced  into  Scotland  about  the 
year  noo,  and  flourished  for  over  five  hundred  years. 
When  the  character  of  the  laws  against  duelling  in 
Scotland  is  considered,  it  is  readily  understood  why 
the  custom  did  not  prevail  to  the  same  popular  ex- 
tent among  the  Scots  as  among  their  more  roistering 
neighbors;  for  when  a  duel  took  place  upon  a  chal- 
lenge in  Scotland  and  was  followed  by  the  death  of 
one  of  the  parties,  the  survivor  was  charged  with  mur- 
der, however  fair  and  equal  the  combat  may  have 
been  conducted;  and  the  better  to  repress  such  irregu- 
larities, the  legislature,  by  the  statute  of  1600,  raised 
the  bare  act  of  engaging  in  a  duel  to  the  same  rank 
of  a  capital  crime  as  the  actual  slaughter,  without 
distinguishing  whether  any  of  the  parties  did  or  did 
not  suffer  any  wound  or  material  harm  on  the  occa- 
sion; and,  to  complete  the  restraint,  it  was  by  the 
statute  of  1696  made  punishable  with  banishment  and 
escheat  of  movables  to  be  concerned  in  the  giving, 
sending,  or  accepting  a  challenge,  even  though  no 
combat  should  ensue. 

Still,  the  same  difficulty  was  experienced  in  the 
total  abolishment  of  the  custom  in  Scotland  as  in 
some  other  countries;  and  few  duels  have  been  ac- 
companied with  more  melancholy  circumstances  than 
one  fought  near  Edinburgh,  in  1790,  between  Sir 
George  Ramsay  and  Captain  Macrae,  which  origi- 


46  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

nate  in  the  following  seemingly  trivial  circumstance: 
A  servant  of  Sir  George,  keeping  a  chair  at  the  door 
of  the  Edinburgh  Theatre,  was  directed  by  Captain 
Macrae  to  remove  it;  and,  upon  his  declining  to  do  so, 
words  ensued,  and  the  fracas  was  ended  by  a  severe 
chastisement  of  the  servant  at  the  hands  of  the  en- 
raged officer.  Meeting  next  day  with  Sir  George, 
Macrae  insisted  upon  the  dismissal  of  the  servant 
from  his  service,  which  was  politely  refused  on  the 
ground  that,  whatever  may  have  been  the  nature  of 
the  offence,  the  offender  had  already  received  suffi- 
cient punishment.  A  challenge  was  the  immediate 
consequence,  and  the  parties  met  on  Musselburgh 
Links,  Sir  George  accompanied  by  Sir  William  Max- 
well, and  Macrae  by  Captain  Hay.  The  former  fired 
first,  but  without  effect.  Captain  Macrae  returned 
the  fire,  and  lodged  his  bullet  near  the  heart  of  his 
antagonist.  Sir  George  languished  a  few  days  in 
great  agony,  when  he  expired.  The  poor  fellow  on 
whose  account  this  duel  happened  no  sooner  heard  of 
his  master's  death  than  he  fell  into  convulsions  and 
died  in  three  hours;  and  Captain  Macrae  at  once  fled 
the  country. 

The  following  story  illustrates  the  fighting  qualities 
of  the  Scotch,  In  the  year  1396  a  cruel  feud  existed 
between  the  Clan  Chattan  and  the  Clan  Kay,  which 
Robert  III.  had  vainly  endeavored  to  reconcile.  At 
length  the  Earls  of  Crawford  and  Dunbar  proposed 
that  the  differences  should  be  determined  by  the 
sword,  by  thirty  champions  upon  each  side.  The  war- 
riors were  speedily  selected,  the  day  of  combat  fixed, 
the  field  chosen,  and  the  King  and  his  nobility  assem- 
bled as  spectators.  On  reviewing  the  combatants  it 


DUELLING  IN  IRELAND  AND   SCOTLAND.     47 

was  found  that  one  of  the  Clan  Chattan  was  missing, 
when  it  was  proposed  that  one  of  the  Clan  Kay  should 
withdraw;  but  such  was  the  spirit  of  these  brave 
fellows  that  not  one  could  be  prevailed  upon  to  re- 
sign the  honor  of  the  day.  At  length  a  saddler  named 
Wild,  who  happened  accidentally  to  be  present, 
offered  to  supply  the  place  of  the  missing  Mackintosh, 
and  was  accepted.  The  combat  was  at  once  com- 
menced, and  by  the  prowess  of  Wild  victory  declared 
itself  in  favor  of  the  champions  with  whom  he  fought. 
Of  the  Clan  Chattan  only  ten  and  the  volunteer  were 
left  alive,  and  all  were  dangerously  wounded;  while 
of  the  Clan  Kay  only  one  survived,  who,  after  declin- 
ing either  to  surrender  or  to  proceed  further  in  so  un- 
equal a  contest,  threw  himself  into  the  Tay  and  swam 
across.  This  combat  has  been  immortalized  by  Sir 
Walter  Scott,  in  his  novel,  "The  Fair  Maid  of  Perth." 

During  the  civil  wars  Sir  Ewan  Lochiel,  while  Chief 
of  the  Clan  Cameron,  sent  a  challenge  to  Colonel  Pel- 
lew,  an  English  officer,  who  accepted  it  and  named 
swords  as  weapons.  The  fight  took  place  the  follow- 
ing day;  and,  after  two  hours'  combat,  Lochiel  dis- 
armed the  Englishman,  the  sword  of  the  latter  flying 
nearly  twenty  feet  into  the  air.  They  then  clinched, 
and  wrestled  more  than  half  an  hour,  when  they  fell 
together,  Lochiel  underneath.  The  latter,  although 
the  smaller  and  weaker  of  the  two,  managed  to  fasten 
his  teeth  into  the  throat  of  his  antagonist,  and  tore 
away  several  ounces  of  flesh,  which  he  held  in  his 
mouth  like  a  wild  beast  until  he  left  the  field:  and 
to  his  dying  day  Sir  Ewan  declared  that  it  was  the 
sweetest  morsel  he  had  ever  tasted  in  his  life. 

In  1567  a  great  commotion  was  produced  in  Scot- 


4  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

land  on  account  of  the  cnarge  of  Lord  Herries  that 
Morton  and  Maitland  were  the  murderers  of  Lord 
Darnley,  the  husband  of  Queen  Mary.  This  charge 
elicited  a  challenge  to  Lord  Herries  from  Lord  Lind- 
say, who  declined,  however,  to  meet  only  those  whom 
he  had  accused.  Morton  and  Maitland  and  two 
brothers  named  Murray  subsequently  accused  the 
Duke  of  Orkney,  James  Hepburn  Bothwell  (the  one 
whom  Mary,  afterward  married),  as  the  real  murderer 
of  Darnley;  who,  in  turn,  challenged  all  gentlemen  of 
honorable  standing  who  accused  him  of  the  murder 
of  the  former  husband  of  the  Queen,  or  who  believed 
him  to  have  been  in  any  way  whatever  a  participant 
in  the  crime;  and  claimed,  further,  that  his  trial  and 
acquittal  should  be  accepted  as  conclusive  evidence 
regarding  his  innocence.  No  person  of  rank  took 
notice  of  this  general  challenge;  and,  at  last,  while  at 
the  head  of  the  army — so  constant  was  the  annoyance 
from  his  adversaries — Bothwell  published  a  cartel  of 
defiance  (calling  upon  many  of  his  prominent  enemies 
by  name),  and  offered  to  prove  his  innocence  by 
wager  of  battle.  This  brought  out  a  score  or  more  of 
gallant  men  of  acknowledged  rank,  and  among  them 
Lords  Morton  and  Lindsay,  who  elected  to  fight 
with  two-handed  swords.  The  Queen,  however,  inter- 
fered, and  commanded  tranquillity;  and  so  the  guilty 
Bothwell  was  spared  from  the  weapons  of  scores  of 
enraged  swordsmen  of  Grange  and  Tullibarden,  who 
were  only  too  willing  to  take  a  hand  in  sending  the 
Duke  to  his  final  account. 

The  Irish  code  duello — from  which  all  other  codes 
(in  the  English  language)  have  been  written  or  made 
/'with  modifications  suited  to  the  times  and  coun- 


DUELLING  IN  IRELAND  AND    SCOTLAND.     49 

tries  or  persons  who  have  adopted  it) — was  adopted 
at  the  Clonmel  Summer  Assizes,  1777,  for  the  gov- 
ernment of  duellists,  by  the  gentlemen  of  Tipperary, 
Galway,  Mayo,  Sligo,  and  Roscommon,  and  pre- 
scribed for  general  adoption  throughout  Ireland. 
"  These  rules,"  says  Sir  Jonah  Harrington,  "  brought 
the  whole  business  of  duelling  to  a  focus,  and  have 
been  much  acted  upon  down  to  the  present  day." 
They  were,  in  Galway,  called  the  twenty-six  com- 
mandments, and  are  as  follows: 

RULE  I. — The  first  offence  requires  the  first  apol- 
ogy, though  the  retort  may  have  been  more  offensive 
than  the  insult.  Example  :  A  tells  B  he  is  imperti- 
nent, etc.  B  retorts  that  he  lies  ;  yet  A  must  make 
the  first  apology,  because  he  gave  the  first  offence, 
and  (after  one  fire)  B  may  explain  away  the  retort 
by  subsequent  apology. 

RULE  II. — But  if  the  parties  would  rather  fight  on, 
then,  after  two  shots  each  (but  in  no  case  before),  B 
may  explain  first  and  A  apologize  afterward. 

N.  B. — The  above  rules  apply  to  all  cases  of 
offences  in  retort  not  of  a  stronger  class  than  the  ex- 
ample. 

RULE  III. — If  a  doubt  exists  who  gave  the  first 
offence,  the  decision  rests  with  the  seconds.  If  they 
will  not  decide  or  cannot  agree,  the  matter  must 
proceed  to  two  shots,  or  to  a  hit  if  the  challenger  re- 
quires it. 

RULE  IV. — When  the  lie  direct  is  the  first  offence, 
the  aggressor  must  either  beg  pardon  in  express 
terms,  exchange  two  shots  previous  to  apology,  or 
three  shots  followed  by  explanation,  or  fire  on  till  a 
severe  hit  be  received  by  one  party  or  the  other. 


SO  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

RULE  V. — As  a  blow  is  strictly  prohibited  under 
any  circumstances  among  gentlemen,  no  verbal 
apology  can  be  received  for  such  an  insult.  The 
alternatives,  therefore,  are:  The  offender  handing  a 
cane  to  the  injured  party  to  be  used  on  his  back,  at 
the  same  time  begging  pardon;  firing  until  one  or 
both  are  disabled;  or  exchanging  three  shots  and 
then  begging  pardon  without  the  proffer  of  the 
cane. 

N.  B. — If  swords  are  used,  the  parties  engage  until 
one  is  well  blooded,  disabled,  or  disarmed,  or  until, 
after  receiving  a  wound  and  blood  being  drawn,  the 
aggressor  begs  pardon. 

RULE  VI. — If  A  gives  B  the  lie  and  B  retorts  by  a 
blow  (being  the  two  greatest  offences),  no  reconcilia- 
tion can  take  place  till  after  two  discharges  each  or 
a  severe  hit,  after  which  B  may  beg  A's  pardon  for 
the  blow,  and  then  A  may  explain  simply  for  the  lie, 
because  a  blow  is  never  allowable,  and  the  offence 
of  the  lie,  therefore,  merges  in  it.  (See  preceding 
rule.) 

N.  B. — Challenges  for  undivulged  causes  may  be 
conciliated  on  the  ground  after  one  shot.  An  expla- 
nation or  the  slightest  hit  should  be  sufficient  in  such 
cases,  because  no  personal  offence  transpired. 

RULE  VII. — But  no  apology  can  be  received  in  any 
case  after  the  parties  have  actually  taken  their 
ground  without  exchange  of  shots. 

RULE  VIII. — In  the  above  case  no  challenger  is 
obliged  to  divulge  his  cause  of  challenge  (if  private) 
unless  required  by  the  challenged  so  to  do  before 
their  meeting. 

RULE   IX. — All   imputations   of  cheating    at   play, 


DUELLING  IN  IRELAND  AND   SCOTLAND.      5 1 

races,  etc.,  to  be  considered  equivalent  to  a  blow, 
but  may  be  reconciled  after  one  shot,  on  admitting 
their  falsehood  and  begging  pardon  publicly. 

RULE  X. — Any  insult  to  a  lady  under  a  gentleman's 
care  or  protection  to  be  considered  as  by  one  degree 
a  greater  offence  than  if  given  to  the  gentleman  per- 
sonally, and  to  be  regarded  accordingly. 

RULE  XI. — Offences  originating  or  accruing  from 
the  support  of  ladies'  reputation  to  be  considered  as 
less  unjustifiable  than  any  others  of  the  same  class, 
and  as  admitting  of  slighter  apologies  by  the 
aggressor.  This  is  to  be  determined  by  the  circum- 
stances of  the  case,  but  always  favorably  to  the  lady. 

RULE  XII. — No  dumb  firing  or  firing  in  the  air  is 
admissible  in  any  case.  The  challenger  ought  not 
to  have  challenged  without  receiving  offence,  and 
the  challenged  ought,  if  he  gave  offence,  to  have 
made  an  apology  before  he  came  on  the  ground; 
therefore  children's  play  must  be  dishonorable  on 
one  side  or  the  other,  and  is  accordingly  prohibited. 

RULE  XIII. — Seconds  to  be  of  equal  rank  in  society 
with  the  principals  they  attend,  inasmuch  as  a  second 
may  either  choose  or  chance  to  become  a  principal, 
and  equality  is  indispensable. 

RULE  XIV. — Challenges  are  never  to  be  delivered 
at  night,  unless  the  party  to  be  challenged  intends 
leaving  the  place  of  offence  before  morning;  for  it 
is  desirable  to  avoid  all  hot-headed  proceedings. 

RULE  XV. — The  challenged  has  the  right  to  choose 
his  own  weapons  unless  the  challenger  gives  his 
honor  he  is  no  swordsman,  after  which,  however,  he 
cannot  decline  any  second  species  of  weapon  'pro- 
posed by  the  challenged. 


52  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

RULE  XVI. — The  challenged  chooses  his  ground, 
the  challenger  chooses  his  distance,  the  seconds  fix 
the  time  and  terms  of  firing. 

RULE  XVII. — The  seconds  load  in  presence  of  each 
other,  unless  they  give  their  mutual  honors  that  they 
have  charged  smooth  and  single,  which  shall  be  held 
sufficient. 

RULE  XVIII. — Firing  may  be  regulated,  first,  by 
signal;  secondly,  by  word  of  command;  or,  thirdly,  at 
pleasure,  as  may  be  agreeable  to  the  parties.  In  the 
latter  case  the  parties  may  fire  at  their  reasonable 
leisure,  but  second  presents  and  rests  are  strictly  pro- 
hibited. 

RULE  XIX.. — In  all  cases  a  misfire  is  equivalent  to 
a  shot,  and  a  snap  or  a  non-cock  is  to  be  considered 
as  a  misfire. 

RULE  XX. — Seconds  are  bound  to  attempt  a  recon- 
ciliation before  the  meeting  takes  place,  or  after  suffi- 
cient firing  or  hits  as  specified. 

RULE  XXI. — Any  wound  sufficient  to  agitate  the 
nerves  and  necessarily  make  the  hand  shake  must 
end  the  business  for  that  day. 

RULE  XXII. —If  the  cause  of  meeting  be  of  such  a 
nature  that  no  apology  or  explanation  can  or  will  be 
received,  the  challenged  takes  his  ground  and  calls 
on  the  challenger  to  proceed  as  he  chooses.  In  such 
cases  firing  at  pleasure  is  the  usual  practice,  but  may 
be  varied  by  agreement. 

RULE  XXIII. — In  slight  cases  the  second  hands  his 
principal  but  one  pistol,  but  in  gross  cases  two,  hold- 
ing another  case  ready  charged  in  reserve. 

RULE  XXIV. — When  the  seconds  disagree  and  re- 
solve to  exchange  shots  themselves,  it  must  be  at  the 


DUELLING  IN  IRELAND  AND   SCOTLAND.      53 

same  time  and  at  right  angles  with  their  principals, 
thus: 

s 


If  with  swords,  side  by  side,  with  five  paces'  interval. 

RULE  XXV. — No  party  can  be  allowed  to  bend  his 
knee  or  cover  his  side  with  his  left  hand,  but  may 
present  at  any  level  from  the  hip  to  the  eye. 

RULE  XXVI. — None  can  either  advance  or  retreat 
if  the  ground  is  measured.  If  no  ground  be  mea- 
sured, either  party  may  advance  at  his  pleasure,  even 
to  the  touch  of  muzzles,  but  neither  can  advance  on 
his  adversary  after  the  fire,  unless  the  adversary  steps 
forward  on  him. 

N.B. — The  seconds  on  both  sides  stand  responsible 
for  this  last  rule  being  strictly  observed,  bad  cases 
having  occurred  from  neglecting  it. 

N.B. — All  matters  and  doubts  not  herein  men- 
tioned will  be  explained  and  cleared  up  by  applica- 
tion to  the  Committee,  who  meet  alternately  at 
Clonmel  and  Galway  at  the  quarter  sessions  for  that 
purpose. 

CROW  RYAN,  President. 

JAMES  KEOGH,  AMBY  BODKIN,  Secretaries. 


54  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 


CHAPTER   IV. 
DUELLING  IN  GERMAN  COUNTRIES. 

Anecdote  of  Frederick  the  Great — The  so-called  "  University 
Duel " — How  an  American  Student  gave  Three  German  Youths 
Satisfaction — Fatal  Effect  of  forcing  a  Fight  upon  an  American 
Student — Challenging  the  Wrong  Englishman — Twenty-one 
Duels  in  One  Day — A  Romantic  Event  and  the  Causes  which 
led  to  it — An  American  Boy's  Description  of  a  German-Student 
Duel — Duelling  Elsewhere  in  Europe — Anecdote  of  Gustavus 
Adolphus  of  Sweden — Potemkin  and  Orliff — Heckeren  and 
Pouchkin. 

THE  judicial  duel  was  known  in  Germany  early  in 
600,  and  had  its  rise  and  fall  in  pretty  much  the  same 
manner  as  has  been  presented  in  descriptions  of  its 
rise  and  fall  in  those  countries  heretofore  mentioned. 
The  private  duel,  however,  did  not  follow  with  the 
vim  which  characterized  its  introduction  into  Eng- 
land and  France;  and,  if  an  exception  is  made  of  the 
so-called  "  university  duel,"  the  custom  of  giving 
and  accepting  challenges  in  German  countries  has 
never  been  cordially  recognized  as  a  popular  institu- 
tion. 

Germany  is  indebted  to  many  of  its  monarchs  for 
this  state  of  affairs,  and  especially  to  Joseph  II.,  who, 
in  August,  1771,  wrote  as  follows  to  a  commanding 
officer: — "General:  I  desire  you  to  arrest  Count  K. 
and  Captain  W.  immediately.  The  Count  is  of  an 


DUELLING  IN  GERMAN  COUNTRIES.  55 

imperious  character,  proud  of  his  high  birth,  and  full 
of  false  ideas  of  honor.  Captain  W.,  who  is  an  old 
soldier,  thinks  of  settling  everything  by  the  sword  or 
the  pistol.  He  has  done  wrong  to  accept  a  challenge 
from  the  young  Count.  I  will  not  suffer  the  practice 
of  duelling  in  my  army,  and  I  despise  the  arguments 
of  those  who  seek  to  justify  it.  I  have  a  high  esteem 
for  officers  who  expose  themselves  courageously  to 
the  enemy,  and  who,  on  all  occasions,  show  them- 
selves intrepid,  valiant,  and  determined  in  attack  as 
well  as  in  defence.  The  indifference  with  which  they 
face  death  is  honorable  to  themselves  and  useful  to 
their  country;  but  there  are  men  ready  to  sacrifice 
everything  to  a  spirit  of  revenge  and  hatred.  Let  a 
council  of  war  be  summoned  to  try  these  two  officers 
with  all  the  impartiality  which  I  demand  from  every 
judge,  and  let  the  most  culpable  of  the  two  be  made 
an  example  by  the  rigor  of  the  law.  There  will  still 
be  left  men  who  can  unite  bravery  with  the  duties  of 
faithful  subjects.  I  wish  for  none  who  do  not  respect 
the  laws  of  their  country." 

An  anecdote  has  been  related  of  Frederick  the 
Great,  <3f  Prussia,  which  accounts  in  a  vividly  dra- 
matic way  for  the  unpopularity  of  the  custom  in  that 
country  at  the  very  time  when  duelling  in  England 
and  France  was  carried  to  murderous  extremes,  and 
where  every  private  resentment  was  permanently 
settled  at  the  point  of  the  sword.  No  greater  enemy 
to  the  custom  ever  sat  upon  a  throne  than  Frederick; 
and,  at  one  time  during  his  reign,  believing  that  duel- 
ling was  on  the  increase  in  his  army,  he  made  up  his 
iron  mind  to  put  a  stop  to  it.  So  he  issued  an  order 
that  the  first  party  engaging  in  a  duel  without  his 
consent  should  be  summarily  punished.  A  very 


56  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

short  time  after  the  publication  of  this  order  an  offi- 
cer of  good  rank  sought  his  Majesty's  presence  and 
asked  for  permission  to  challenge  a  brother-officer  to 
mortal  combat;  to  which  Frederick  gave  his  gracious 
consent,  provided  that  his  Majesty  should  be  notified 
beforehand  of  the  time  and  place  where  the  duel  was 
to  be  fought.  At  the  time  appointed  for  the  arrival 
upon  the  ground  of  the  belligerents  all  parties 
promptly  appeared;  and,  to  their  amazement,  there 
sat  Frederick  near  a  gibbet  that  had  been  newly 
erected  upon  the  spot;  and  the  longer  the  parties 
gazed  upon  the  scene  the  greater  became  their  con- 
sternation; until  the  challenger,  at  last,  in  great  em- 
barrassment, appealed  respectfully  to  his  king  to 
know  the  meaning  of  the  spectacle,  who  replied  as 
follows:  "It  means,  sir,  that  I  intend  to  witness  your 
battle  until  one  of  you  has  killed  the  other,  and 
then  I  will  hang  the  survivor!"  It  is  hardly  neces- 
sary to  add  that  the  proposed  duel  was  not  fought; 
and  that,  henceforth,  duelling  was  a  rare  event  in  the 
Prussian  army.  The  new  code  of  Prussia  contains 
severe  provisions  against  duelling  and  the  sending  of 
challenges. 

Regarding  what  is  termed  the  "university  duel," 
the  most  that  can  be  said  against  it  is  that  it  is  ridicu- 
lous, although  there  is  scarcely  a  German  of  promi- 
nence whose  face  does  not  bear  witness  to  encounters 
of  this  sort;  and  these  reminiscences  of  student-days 
may  be  seen  engraven  upon  the  faces  of  judges  and 
senators  and  advocates,  the  same  as  upon  officers  of 
the  army.  It  is  understood  that  there  must  be  just 
about  so  much  fighting,  and  therefore  challenges  are 
given  and  accepted  every  day.  The  duels  at  the  capi- 
tal take  place  at  a  garden  three  miles  out  of  Berlin, 


DUELLING  IN  GERMAN  COUNTRIES.        57 

in  an  arena  or  hall,  fifty  by  thirty  feet.  Sometimes 
the  place  is  crowded  with  students,  nearly  every  one 
of  whom  displays  "  tokens  of  battle"  either  upon  the 
face  or  head.  It  is  not  uncommon  to  see  an  array  of 
false  noses  .where  real  ones  used  to  be,  or  a  face  cov- 
ered with  scars,  and  a  head  minus  an  ear.  These 
losses  and  patchworks  of  skull  and  face  are  consid- 
ered honorable,  and  the  greatest  possible  display  is 
made  of  them.  An  eye-witness  of  one  of  these  en- 
counters lately  wrote  a  description  of  it  to  the  Phila- 
delphia Times,  which  is  presented.  "  A  duel  was  on 
the  tapis  as  we  entered.  Two  young  men  sat  in 
chairs  facing  each  other,  the  right  arm,  neck,  and 
breast  of  each  protected  by  heavy  pads  of  quilted 
canvas,  so  heavy  as  to  make  those  parts  proof 
against  any  stroke  of  the  sword.  Each  wore  heavy 
iron  goggles  to  protect  the  eyes,  and  all  vital  parts 
were  protected  so  as  to  make  dangerous  wounds  im- 
possible, or  nearly  so.  The  rapiers,  or  swords,  are 
about  three  and  a  half  feet  in  length,  sharpened 
about  a  foot  from  the  end,  but  not  pointed.  At  the 
word  the  swords  were  crossed  with  a  ringing  cling, 
and  at  another  word  the  fight  commenced.  It  was 
cut  and  parry,  and  parry  and  cut;  the  blows  falling 
on  head  and  arm  or  breast  with  amazing  rapidity. 
But  for  the  absurd  padding  and  the  ludicrous  gog- 
gles the  spectacle  would  have  been  a  very  pretty  one. 
But  without  goggles  and  padding  serious  wounding 
would  have  followed,  and  that  was  not  desired.  Af- 
ter a  few  minutes  of  slashing  and  parrying,  a  red 
streak  showed  upon  the  forehead  of  one  of  them,  and 
a  halt  was  called.  The  surgeon  examined  the  wound, 
sponged  it,  and  pronounced  it  only  a  scratch.  The 
faces  of  both  were  then  sponged  by  their  seconds, 


$8  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

and  at  it  they  went  again.  Other  wounds  were  given 
and  taken  till  blood  flowed  from  each  in  streams. 
But  the  fight  continues  a  fixed  number  of  minutes, 
unless  before  that  time  a  dangerous  wound  is  given, 
when  it  ceases.  Both  are  presumed  to  have  proven 
their  courage,  and  that  is  the  real  object  of  the  en- 
counter." Hon.  Aaron  Sargent,  the  American  Minis- 
ter at  Berlin,  writes  to  a  friend  of  one  young  man 
upon  whose  courage  some  reflection  had  been  made, 
and  who  at  once  challenged  the  student  who  had 
spoken  the  words;  and  states  that,  "although  the 
fight  proceeded  with  great  gallantry  the  specified 
time,  the  umpire  decided  against  the  challenger  on 
the  ground  that  twice  during  the  combat  he  had 
dodged  slightly;  and,  despite  his  assertion  to  the  con- 
trary, and  despite  the  fact  that  he  was  covered  with 
blood  from  head  to  foot,  the  decision  was  maintained 
against  him,  and  he  had  nothing  to  do  but  to  quit 
the  university,  give  up  all  hope  of  a  commission  in 
the  army,  and  go  home."  The  man  who  shirks  never 
so  little  in  ohe  of  these  encounters  would  not  be  ad- 
mitted into  any  regiment.  Further,  a  man  must 
fight  whenever  challenged,  reason  or  no  reason;  and 
even  if  he  has  proven  his  courage  and  power  of  en- 
durance upon  former  occasions,  there  is  no  escape 
from  that. 

Apropos,  from  a  Bremen  letter  published  in  the  Cin- 
cinnati Commercial  Gazette  in  August,  1883,  the  follow- 
ing paragraph  is  selected: 

An  American  student  who  was  at  Gottingen  last  winter 
says  that  twelve  duels  were  fought  there  in  one  day.  He 
also  relates  the  following  incident  which  occurred  at  that 
place  :  An  American  student  unintentionally  gave  offence  to 
three  German  students  by  pushing  against  them  in  hurriedly 


DUELLING  IN  GERMAN  COUNTRIES.  59 

passing  along  the  street.  They  went  on  a  few  steps,  then 
came  back  and  insisted  on  having  satisfaction  for  the  in- 
sult ;  he  must  fight  a  duel  with  one  of  their  number.  He  de- 
clined, saying,  "  I  am  an  American.  I  do  not  fight."  But 
they  quickly  repeated,  "We  must  have  satisfaction."  He 
replied,  "  Well,  if  you  must,  you  can  have  it ;"  and,  throwing 
off  his  coat,  he  went  at  them  with  his  fists,  knocked  all  three 
of  them  down,  and  one  of  them  quite  out  into  the  gutter. 
Then  putting  on  his  coat,  he  walked  away  as  if  nothing  of  a 
very  serious  character  had  happened.  Somewhat  bewildered 
over  the  situation,  the  three  German  students  picked  them- 
selves up  and  went  their  way ;  and  the  otherwise  quiet  and 
inoffensive  American  was  not  afterward  challenged  to  fight 
a  duel,  or  otherwise  molested. 

Some  two  weeks  later  a  number  of  the  gilded  German 
youth  with  trepanned  skulls  made  up  their  minds  that  it  was 
about  time  to  fresco  the  frontispiece  of  a  young  American 
named  Lennig,  who  had  been  sent  by  his  father,  a  German- 
American  of  New  York,  to  the  University  of  Jena.  In  ac- 
cordance with  their  custom,  Lennig  was  expected  to  prove 
his  courage  in  the  usual  foolish  way,  by  standing  up  and  per- 
mitting himself  to  be  slashed  at  by  another  fool,  and  covered 
with  the  usual  honorable  "scars."  But  he  declined  to  en- 
gage in  any  such  unmitigated  foolishness,  and  thus  exhibi- 
ted his  possession  of  good,  solid  American  sense.  Then  fol- 
lowed a  period  of  hazing.  He  was  gibed  at  as  a  coward — an 
American  milksop.  The  students  generally  refused  to  asso- 
ciate with  him,  and  his  challenger  heaped  insults  upon  him 
until  his  student-life  became  so  insufferable  that  he  at  last 
accepted  the  challenge,  and  turned  the  tables  upon  his  per- 
secutors by  naming  pistols  as  the  weapons — which,  being  the 
challenged  party,  was  his  right  to  do.  Now  it  was  the  chal- 
lenger's part  to  show  either  the  white  feather  or  fight.  It 
was  against  all  precedent,  he  said ;  it  was  exposing  his  life : 
but  he  had  no  alternative  but  to  fight  with  pistols.  Now,  no 
one  will  question  the  physical  courage  of  the  average  Ger- 
man university  student.  And  so  the  meeting  followed,  Len- 
nig killing  his  man  at  the  first  fire.  He  fled  to  Switzerland 


60  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

immediately  afterward,  whence  he  was  extradited,  and  an 
attempt  made  to  convict  him  of  the  offence  of  duelling  with 
fatal  result.  The  case  failed,  however,  and  Lennig  was  dis- 
charged from  arrest  on  the  ground  that  duelling  is  not  named 
in  the  treaty  between  Germany  and  Switzerland  as  an  offence 
for  which  persons  may  be  subject  to  extradition.  Lennig,  it 
is  stated,  has  received  no  more  challenges,  and  probably 
never  will. 

During  the  month  of  August,  1882,  an  Englishman  who 
was  visiting  Heidelberg,  and  putting  up  at  the  principal 
hotel,  once  dined  at  the  table  d'hote  ;  and  being  seated  right 
opposite  to  a  young  man  who  wore  the  badge  of  a  "  corps" 
across  his  breast,  he  could  not  help  noticing  the  extraordi- 
nary manner  in  which  this  young  man  took  his  meal.  At 
first  he  admired  him  for  the  skilful  manner  in  which  he 
managed  his  knife,  which  incessantly  passed  from  his  plate 
to  his  mouth,  heavily  laden  as  it  was  with  green  peas.  But 
when  the  student,  having  finished  his  meat,  took  up  his 
gravy  with  the  knife,  the  Englishman  began  to  feel  his  blood 
boil  within  him.  Pudding  with  apple-sauce  followed,  and 
the  student  operated  with  his  dessert-knife  just  as  he  had 
done  with  the  larger  knife.  But  the  Englishman  could  con- 
trol himself  no  longer.  In  a  hoarse  whisper  he  addressed 
his  vis-d~v£s,  saying,  "  You  will  cut  your  mouth  open  if  you 
don't  leave  off  eating  gravy  with  your  knife."  The  student 
looked  up  and  answered,  "  What  is  that  to  you  ?  I  can  cut 
my  mouth  open  to  my  ears,  for  all  you  have  a  right  to  inter- 
fere." "  Oh,  nonsense  !"  said  the  Englishman,  coolly  ;  "  you 
can't  expect  a  decent  person  to  let  you  butcher  yourself  at 
dinner."  "  Oh,  but  I  can,  though,  and  you  shall  see.  Dum- 
mer  Junge  !"  With  that  the  student  rose  and  left  the  room. 
Dummer  Junge !  (Stupid  fellow  !)  signifies  as  much  as  a  chal- 
lenge. When  the  student's  seconds  came  to  arrange  details 
with  the  Englishman,  he  was  terribly  surprised  at  the  serious 
consequences  of  what  he  had  deemed  a  most  natural  remark. 
He  offered  to  apologize,  and  begged  them  to  remember  that 
he  knew  nothing  of  German  customs,  and  had  believed  him- 
self in  the  right.  But  the  seconds  declared  their  friend  would 


DUELLING  IN  GERMAN  COUNTRIES.          6 1 

accept  no  apology,  and  they  even  hinted  that  the  Englishman 
had  probably  been  told  that  his  opponent  was  a  first-rate 
fencer — the  pride  of  Heidelberg.  Of  course,  when  matters 
took  this  turn,  the  Englishman  spoke  in  a  very  different  tone, 
and  everything  was  arranged  for  a  duel  with  pistols,  he  being 
no  fencer.  He  spent  a  dreadful  night,  because  he  was  told 
that  the  young  student  was  in  such  a  foaming  rage  that  his 
only  desire  was  to  see  his  opponent  lie  dead  on  the  ground. 
The  Englishman  did  all  in  his  power  to  have  the  matter  ar- 
ranged, but  he  did  not  succeed  ;  and,  on  his  way  to  the  tryst- 
ing-place,  he  said  to  his  seconds,  "  It  is  a  dreadful  shame  that 
I  should  have  to  kill  this  young  man  because  he  does  not 
know  the  proper  use  of  his  knife  and  fork.  Still,  it  would 
be  just  as  unfair  to  let  him  kill  me."  The  Englishman  in- 
tended firing  in  the  air  if  he  had  the  second  shot,  but  chance 
was  averse  to  him.  He  had  the  right  to  shoot  first.  The 
aim  was  deadly :  the  young  Teuton  fell  without  a  groan. 

A  letter  from  Vienna  to  the  London  Daily  News 
in  September,  1882,  says: 

The  University  of  Jena,  and  indeed  the  whole  city,  have 
passed  through  a  week  of  intense  alarm  and  anxiety  which 
are  far  from  being  at  an  end  even  now.  On  one  day  twenty- 
one  serious  duels  took  place  among  the  students ;  and,  the 
arms  used  not  having  been  properly  cleaned,  all  those  who 
were  wounded  had  their  blood  poisoned.  About  forty  young 
men  are  lying  in  the  hospital  in  a  serious  condition.  One 
great  favorite,  the  only  son  of  wealthy  parents,  had  his  mind 
upset  by  an  intense  attack  of  fever,  and  committed  suicide 
by  taking  strychnine.  He  died  after  a  terrible  agony  that 
lasted  many  hours.  Two  more  have  died  already,  and  there 
is  little  hope  of  saving  more  than  one  half  of  those  who  are 
still  in  a  pitiable  condition.  This  dreadful  calamity  will  no 
doubt  serve  to  make  university  duelling  very  unpopular  in 
Germany,  if  not  with  the  young  men  themselves,  certainly 
with  their  relations. 

A  correspondent  of  the  St.  Louis  (Mo.)  Republican 


62  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

sent   to   that   paper  in   August,  1883,  the   following 
graphic  account  of  a  university  duel: 

One  spring  morning,  not  many  years  ago,  I  found  myself 
on  the  road  between  a  large  university  town  in  Saxony  and 
a  neighboring  village  where  a  series  of  duels  was  to  take 
place  between  the  various  corps  of  the  university.  Fresh 
from  one  of  our  largest  American  colleges,  I  was  desirous  of 
becoming  acquainted  with  the  life  and  habits  of  the  German 
students ;  and  having  made  the  acquaintance  of  several 
members  of  the  corps  "  Lusatia,"  was  invited  by  them  to  wit- 
ness a  "  mensur,"  or  series  of  sword-duels,  which  was  to  take 
place  in  a  village  near  at  hand.  After  a  ride  of  about  an 
hour  in  the  queer  German  two-storied  horse-cars,  we  alight- 
ed at  a  point  where  two  roads  crossed,  and,  after  a  short 
walk,  arrived  at  a  beer-hall,  which  had  been  chosen  for  the 
scene  of  action.  On  entering  the  house  I  found  about  seven- 
ty or  eighty  students  assembled,  all  wearing  the  gayly  col- 
ored caps,  and  ribbons  across  the  breast,  indicating  their 
several  corps.  They  were  far  better  dressed  and  better 
looking  than  the  average  run  of  German  students,  as  the 
corps  represent  the  highest  social  classes  in  the  university. 
Their  bright-colored  caps  and  bands  gave  them  a  pictur- 
esque appearance,  and  the  fine  bearing  of  many  indicated 
that  they  had  already  gone  through  one  years'  term  of  ser- 
vice in  the  army.  This  was  to  be  a  day  of  more  than  ordi- 
nary interest,  as  thirteen  duels  were  to  take  place.  As  had 
been  explained  to  me,  these  encounters  were  not  caused  by 
any  ill-feeling  between  the  various  combatants,  but  were 
simply  a  friendly  trial  of  courage  and  skill.  The  seniors  or 
presiding  officers  of  the  various  corps  had  met,  and  had 
matched  certain  members  of  the  different  corps  against  each 
other,  who  were  to  fight  simply  as  a  matter  of  amusement. 
Preparations  for  the  first  duel  commenced  soon  after  we  ar- 
rived. A  member  of  the  corps  "  Lusatia"  was  to  meet  a 
Westphalian  in  what  was  known  as  a  fifteen-minute  duel 
with  seconds.  This  was  the  duel  in  vogue  when  the  duel- 
lists had  no  quarrel  with  each  other,  and  was  regarded  as 


DUELLING  IN  GERMAN  COUNTRIES.  63 

less  dangerous  than  the  duel  without  seconds,  which  was 
carried  on  for  twenty-five  minutes  or  until  a  disabling 
wound.  Seconds  are  present  in  both  cases,  but  in  the  duel 
with  seconds  a  halt  can  be  called  as  soon  as  five  blows  have 
been  struck  on  each  side,  and  a  momentary  rest  is  allowed, 
while  in  the  duel  without  seconds  a  halt  can  be  called  when 
blood  has  been  drawn.  I  went  to  watch  the  preparations 
made  by  my  friend  of  the  Lusatians,  which  certainly  were 
elaborate  enough.  The  blows  were  all  to  be  directed  against 
the  head  and  face ;  so  all  other  parts  of  the  body  which 
might  be  struck  by  accident  had  to  be  protected.  He  first 
took  off  his  coat,  vest,  and  shirt,  and  drew  on  his  "  pauck- 
hund,"  or  fighting-shirt,  a  coarse  cotton  garment,  which  was 
used  to  save  the  finer  linen,  as  blood  enough  was  shed  in  al- 
most every  encounter  to  ruin  the  garment  upon  which  it 
flowed.  Then  upon  his  right  arm  was  drawn  a  sleeve  of 
wadded  silk,  extending  from  the  wrist  to  the  shoulder. 
Covering  his  right  armpit  a  heavy  leather  pad  was  buckled, 
in  order  to  protect  the  sinews  at  this  point,  and  a  similar  pad 
was  fastened  over  the  heart.  A  heavy  fencing-glove  was 
placed  on  the  hand,  and  then  the  arm  from  the  wrist  to  the 
shoulder  was  wrapped  with  strips  of  silk  until  the  limb  was 
nearly  as  thick  as  a  man's  thigh.  Silk  was  used  because  it 
gave  protection  against  cuts.  A  thickly  wadded  silk  cravat 
was  fastened  around  the  throat,  and  heavy  iron  goggles,  pro- 
jecting half  an  inch  from  the  eyes,  guarded  these  from  in- 
jury. Next  the  "  pauckhozen,"  or  fighting-breeches,  were 
donned.  These  were  of  very  thick  padded  leather,  and  cov- 
ered the  front  of  the  body  from  the  breast  nearly  to  the 
knees,  and  were  fastened  behind  by  strap  and  buckle.  In 
this  portentous  panoply  a  man  was  scarcely  to  be  recognized 
by  his  best  friend,  and  presented  a  truly  frightful  appear- 
ance, as  cravat,  breeches,  and  pads  were  stiff  with  the  blood 
shed  in  hundreds  of  previous  encounters.  His  equipment 
was  rendered  complete  by  the  duelling- sword,  or  "schlager," 
a  weapon  about  forty  inches  long,  with  an  iron  guard  shaped 
like  an  inverted  saucer,  a  blunt  point,  and  a  ^double  edge 
ground  sharp  as  a  razor  for  about  eighteen  inches  along  each 


64  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 

side.  The  right  arm,  thus  bandaged  and  carrying  the 
sword,  was  supported  by  a  friend,  who  held  it  at  right  angles 
to  the  duellist's  body.  This  friend  wore  a  heavy  buckskin 
glove,  which  was  for  the  purpose  of  protecting  his  hand,  as 
he  was  to  straighten  the  sword  if  it  should  become  bent  in 
the  course  of  the  contest.  Both  combatants  now  being  pre- 
pared, they  advanced  to  the  centre  of  the  room,  and  took 
their  position  about  three  feet  from  each  other,  each  stand- 
ing upon  a  cross  marked  with  chalk  upon  the  floor.  Fronrthis 
mark  they  were  under  no  circumstances  allowed  to  advance 
or  retreat  by  so  much  as  an  inch  during  the  progress  of  the 
duel,  drawing  back  to  avoid  a  blow  being  punished  by 
instant  expulsion  from  the  corps.  As  had  been  explained  to 
me,  all  blows  were  directed  against  the  head  and  face,  the 
guarding  being  done  with  the  sword  and  padded  right  arm. 
Skill  was  was  not  nearly  so  much  a  desideratum  as  a  bold, 
fearless  bearing,  it  being  no  discredit  to  get  the  worst  of  an 
encounter,  but  being  considered  very  disgraceful  to  exhibit 
the  least  fear  of  a  wound.  This  made  the  duels  often  rather 
exhibitions  of  recklessness  than  of  skill,  and  gave  the  "  Bur- 
schenshaft"  a  great  advantage  in  their  duels  with  the  corps 
students,  as  they  were  by  their  rules  allowed  to  fence  cau- 
tiously and  wait  for  an  opening  to  be  offered  by  their  antag- 
onists, a  mode  of  fighting  which  caused  them  to  be  greatly 
despised  by  the  corps.  The  seconds  stood  at  the  left  of  the 
fighters.  Each  wore  a  cap  with  a  heavy  visor,  a  pad  with  the 
corps  colors  over  the  stomach,  and  carried  a  basket-hiked 
sword.  The  umpire  stood  a  few  feet  to  the  side  of  the  com- 
batants. His  duty  was  to  note  the  time,  to  give  word  for  the 
various  halts,  and  to  declare  the  number  of  blows  which 
drew  blood.  The  fifteen  minutes  allowed  for  the  duel  in- 
cluded only  the  actual  fighting  time,  that  consumed  in  the 
pauses  between  the  rounds  being  deducted  by  the  umpire. 
All  being  now  ready,  the  Lusatian  second  called  out,  "  Um- 
pire, please  command  silence  for  a  fifteen-minute  mensur  be- 
tween Lusatia  and  Westphalia  with  seconds."  The  umpire 
gave  the  command,  and  the  second  then  called  out,  "  Auf  der 
mensur.  Bindet  die  klingen."  (On  the  mensur.  Bind  the 


DUELLING  IN  GERMAN  COUNTRIES.  65 

blades.)  The  swords  were  crossed,  the  seconds  touched  them 
with  their  own,  the  Westphalian  second  said,  "  Gebunden 
sind  "  (They  are  bound),  and  the  duellists  took  their  guard. 
This  is  effected  by  raising  the  right  arm  over  the  head,  so 
that  it  protects  the  top  of  the  head,  the  sword  hanging 
down  parallel  to  the  left  side  of  the  face  and  guarding  that. 
As  soon  as  both  were  on  guard  the  Lusatian  second  gave 
the  "  Los !"  (Loose),  which  was  the  signal  for  commencement. 
Immediately  on  the  word  being  given  both  began  striking  at 
each  other,  it  being  a  point  of  honor  to  strike  the  first  blow. 
The  striking  was  all  done  from  the  wrist,  as  the  arm  must 
be  kept  above  the  head  as  a  guard,  and  thrusting  is  not  al- 
lowed. The  endeavor  of  each  was  to  touch  his  opponent  by 
reaching  over  the  protecting  arm,  thus  striking  the  scalp, 
or  the  left  cheek  when  unguarded.  For  a  few  seconds 
nothing  was  heard  but  the  clashing  of  the  sword-blades 
against  each  other  and  against  the  iron  hilts,  or  the  dull 
flapping  sound  when  they  struck  upon  the  padded  arms. 
The  movement  of  the  blades  was  so  rapid  that  an  unprac- 
tised eye  could  not  tell  the  result.  But  after  four  or  five 
blows  had  been  delivered  the  Lusatian  second  cried  "  Halt !" 
and  the  swords  were  struck  up,  as  a  thin  stream  of  blood 
was  seen  flowing  from  the  hair  to  the  temple  of  the  West- 
phalian, which  soon  spread  over  his  face  and  trickled  down 
upon  his  fighting-shirt.  The  second  then  said,  "  Umpire, 
please  declare  a  '  blutigen'  (bloody  one)  on  the  head."  The 
umpire  replied,  "  It  is  declared."  The  doctor,  who  was 
standing  near,  looking  at  the  cut,  pronounced  it  insignifi- 
cant, the  second  again  called  out  "  Auf  der  mensur,"  etc., 
and  the  contest  recommenced.  So  it  went  on,  now  one  re- 
ceiving a  cut,  now  the  other,  until  the  prescribed  fifteen 
minutes  had  elapsed,  when  the  duel  ceased  and  the  men 
were  led  off  to  be  divested  of  their  defensive  armor  and 
their  injuries  attended  to.  A  table  had  been  placed  near  a 
window,  on  which  were  basins  of  water,  sponges,  and  a  num- 
ber of  crooked  needles  threaded  with  colored  silk.  The 
cuts  were  washed,  plastered,  and  when  of  any  considerable 
depth  sewed  up  with  silk.  The  doctor  kept  a  book  in  which 


66  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

was  entered  the  number  of  cuts  received  and  the  number  of 
stitches  required  to  sew  them  up,  and  this  list  was  the  offi- 
cial record  of  the  duel.  In  this  instance  the  Lusatian  had 
received  nine  "  blutigen"  with  five  "  needles,"  or  stitches, 
while  his  antagonist  had  received  twelve  of  the  former, 
with  seven  of  the  latter.  They  were  soon  through  with  the 
doctor,  and  were  seen  talking  and  drinking  their  beer  as  if 
nothing  had  happened.  In  the  mean  time  preparations 
were  going  on  for  the  next  affair,  and  the  men  were  now 
ready.  In  this  instance  one  of  the  Saxon  corps  had  chal- 
lenged a  member  of  one  of  the  "  Burschenschaft,"  societies 
similar  to  the  corps,  but  considered  as  occupying  a  lower 
social  position ;  and  as  insulting  words  had  passed,  the  duel 
was  to  be  of  the  more  serious  kind,  lasting  twenty-five  min- 
utes, or  until  one  should  receive  a  wound  which  the  doctor 
should  pronounce  to  be  sufficiently  serious  to  close  the  duel. 
It  may  be  remarked  that  this  decision  rests  entirely  in  the 
hands  of  the  doctor,  as  it  is  feared  that  if  left  to  the  duellist 
himself  he  might  continue  the  encounter  until  his  injuries 
should  become  so  severe  as  to  endanger  his  life.  When  the 
men  took  their  places,  the  difference  between  the  style  of 
the  corps  and  that  of  the  Burschenschaft  was  at  once  appar- 
ent. The  Saxon  commenced  in  a  dashing  style,  striking  as 
rapidly  as  possible,  and  paying  comparatively  little  attention 
to  his  own  safety ;  while  his  opponent  remained  cautiously 
on  the  guard,  took  three  blows  for  one  returned,  and  warily 
watched  his  chance.  This  style  of  fencing  gave  him  a  great 
advantage,  which  he  soon  turned  to  decisive  account.  As 
the  Saxon  delivered  a  blow  at  his  face,  he  drew  back  his 
head  so  that  the  blow  passed  by  him  (a  manoeuvre  allowed 
by  the  Burschenschaft,  but  strictly  forbidden  among  the 
corps),  and  then  struck  a  blow  upon  the  Saxon's  unguarded 
cheek  which  the  doctor  pronounced  sufficiently  serious  to 
occasion  the  discontinuance  of  the  duel.  Two  or  three 
duels  of  no  particular  note  followed,  and  then  a  general  stir 
and  excitement  could  be  observed,  as  the  great  event  of  the 
day  was  about  to  take  place.  The  "  senior,"  or  president,  of 
the  Thuringers  was  to  meet  the  senior  of  the  Westphalians. 


DUELLING  IN  GERMAN  COUNTRIES.  67 

These  two  were  regarded  as  the  two  best  "  schlagers"  in  the 
university,  and  the  issue  of  this  encounter  was  looked  upon 
as  deciding  the  supremacy  of  one  or  the  other.  The  West- 
phalian  was  a  tall,  active,  rather  dandified-looking  fellow, 
with  jet-black  hair  and  mustache,  and  very  few  scars  for  so 
renowned  a  fighter.  He  was  noted  for  the  quickness  of  his 
eye,  the  suppleness  of  his  waist,  and  the  skill  with  which  he 
struck  a  certain  blow  in  tierce.  The  Thuringer  was  some- 
what shorter,  but  of  far  stronger  build,  had  thick  blond  hair, 
and  bore  dozens  of  scars  on  his  face.  He  was  not  regarded 
as  so  finished  and  elegant  a  swordsman  as  his  antagonist, 
but  his  great  strength,  heavy  blows,  and  endurance  gave 
many  ground  for  the  belief  that  if  he  should  not  be  disabled 
within  the  first  five  minutes  his  chances  for  ultimate  victory 
were  excellent.  Great  reliance  was  placed  by  his  friends  on 
a  certain  "  durchzieher,"  or  drawing-stroke,  across  an  op- 
ponent's face,  which  he  struck  with  tremendous  force.  The 
men  took  their  ground,  the  swords  were  crossed,  and  the 
word  given.  It  was  at  once  apparent  that  two  master-hands 
were  at  work.  The  heavy  blades  fairly  whistled  through  the 
air,  and  the  rapidity  with  which  blows  were  given  and  re- 
turned was  bewildering.  Within  a  few  minutes  blood  was 
flowing  from  three  cuts  on  the  Thuringer's  head,  while  the 
Westphalian  had  only  one  slight  scratch  on  the  left  cheek. 
But  the  work  was  beginning  to  tell.  Both  men  breathed 
heavily  during  the  pauses,  but  the  beads  of  perspiration  on 
the  Westphalian's  face  showed  that  he  was  beginning  to  feel 
severely  the  exertion  of  striking  and  parrying  the  slashing 
blows  of  his  opponent.  At  the  third  or  fourth  blow  of  the 
seventh  round  there  was  a  tinkle  and  a  crash,  and  the  T hur, 
inger's  blade  flew  half  across  the  room,  broken  short  off  at 
the  guard.  As  another  sword  was  handed  him,  blood  was 
observed  to  be  trickling  through  his  thick  hair  from  a 
wound  which  had  escaped  even  the  quick  eye  of  the  oppos- 
ing second  at  the  moment  of  infliction.  The  doctor  looked 
at  it,  shook  his  head,  looked  at  it  again,  but,  apparently  in 
response  to  the  appealing  glances  cast  upon  him,  suffered 
the  duel  to  proceed.  The  five  minutes  regarded  as  so  dan- 


68  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

gerous  for  the  Thuringer  had  now  passed,  and  his  friends 
began  to  feel  great  confidence  in  the  result.  Still  the  West- 
phalian  was  a  finished  swordsman,  and  he  attacked  as  boldly 
as  at  first.  But  it  might  be  observed  that  the  blows  were 
not  delivered  with  quite  the  same  lightning-like  rapidity  as 
during  the  earlier  rounds,  and  a  slight  slowness  in  returning 
to  guard  more  than  once  caused  him  to  make  a  very  narrow 
escape.  The  Thuringer  perceived  this,  and  his  blows  came 
crashing  in  with  redoubled  force.  They  fell  with  tremen- 
dous violence  on  the  blade  and  bandaged  arm  of  his  antag- 
onist, and  it  was  evident  that  unless  the  latter  could  do 
something  decisive  within  a  very  few  minutes,  failing 
strength  would  put  him  at  his  opponent's  mercy.  The 
Westphalian  recognized  this,  and  directed  all  his  efforts 
to  this  end.  The  next  few  blows  were  struck  with  less 
attention  to  his  guard  and  greater  effort  to  end  the  contest 
with  a  single  effective  blow.  The  result  of  this  was  seen  the 
next  moment  in  a  long  gash  on  his  forehead,  showing  where 
he  had  recovered  guard  too  slowly  after  a  reckless  attempt 
to  reach  the  Thuringer's  head  by  striking  over  his  arm.  His 
strength  was  fast  ebbing,  but  he  had  set  his  heart  upon  vic- 
tory, and  determined  to  make  one  more  desperate  effort. 
Collecting  all  his  remaining  strength,  and  rising  on  his  toes 
to  increase  the  effort  of  the  stroke,  he  discharged  a  blow 
with  all  his  force  at  the  top  of  the  Thuringer's  head.  It  was 
delivered  with  great  judgment  and  skill.  His  blade  seemed 
fairly  to  curl  over  the  Thuringer's  protecting  arm,  and  the 
sharp  steel  cut  a  gash  from  behind  the  crown  nearly  to  the 
forehead.  A  stream  of  blood  at  once  covered  the  Thur- 
inger's face  and  shirt  and  dyed  them  a  deep  crimson.  But 
this  telling  stroke  had  not  gone  unavenged.  As  the  West- 
phalian lifted  his  blade  he  had,  for  an  instant,  exposed  his 
left  cheek,  and  at  the  very  instant  when  he  was  himself 
struck  the  Thuringer  brought  his  sword  with  terrific  force 
across  the  Westphalian 's  cheek,  which  was  laid  open  from 
the  ear  to  the  nose.  Both  seconds  cried  "  Halt !"  simulta- 
neously, and  struck  up  the  swords.  The  doctor's  verdict 
was  not  needed  to  inform  every  one  that  neither  was  able 


DUELLING  IN  GERMAN  COUNTRIES.  69 

to  proceed  with  the  duel.  Both  were  led  to  the  operating- 
tables,  thus  ending  what  was  universally  admitted  to  be  the 
best  "  mensur"  ever  seen  by  any  present.  It  was  not  only 
remarkable  for  the  skill  displayed,  but  also  for  the  severe 
character  of  the  wounds,  and  for  the  very  unusual  circum- 
stance that  both  men  received  disabling  cuts  at  the  same 
instant,  thus  leaving  the  question  of  superiority  undecided. 
As  soon  as  the  general  excitement  had  somewhat  dimin- 
ished, preparations  for  another  duel  were  commenced  ;  but 
the  men  were  scarcely  half-armed,  when  one  of  the  students, 
who  had  been  stationed  outside  to  keep  watch,  rushed  in 
with  the  news  that  the  police  were  approaching.  Instantly 
all  was  hurry  and  copfusion.  The  young  men  who  were 
being  prepared  for  the  next  duel  were  hurried  off  into  a 
loft,  where  their  trappings  were  removed  and  hidden,  the 
swords  were  thrown  into  the  cellar,  tables  were  drawn  into 
the  middle  of  the  room,  and  when  the  representatives  of  the 
law  appeared  at  the  door,  they  saw  only  a  number  of  stu- 
dents sitting  over  their  beer.  But  as  it  was  evident  that 
nothing  more  could  be  accomplished  for  the  present,  it  was 
decided  to  adjourn  for  the  day,  and  a  general  move  was 
made  for  the  city,  which  we  all  reached  late  in  the  after- 
noon, after  what  was  admitted  to  be  a  very  successful  day 
"  on  the  mensur." 

No  portion  of  Europe  has  been  exempt  from  the 
evil  of  duelling;  and  next  to  those  countries  already 
presented  may  be  placed  Italy,  then  Spain,  Russia, 
Sweden,  and  so  on  down  to  Denmark  and  Wales. 
The  judicial  duel,  or  trial  by  wager  of  battle,  pre- 
vailed in  the  foregoing  countries,  as  in  the  others 
heretofore  described,  for  many  hundreds  of  years,  and 
at  last  gave  way  to  the  private  duel.  This  latter 
raged  in  Italy  from  1600  to  1700  with  all  the  alarming 
popularity  that  it  did  in  France  during  the  same 
time;  and  the  common  inquiry  was,  when  two  gentle- 
men met  in  the  morning,  "Who  fought  yesterday?" 


?O  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

or,  "What  is  the  news  from  the  field  to-day?"  The 
judicial  duel  survived  in  Italy  until  nearly  1600;  al- 
though, even  at  that  latter  date,  the  private  affairs  of 
"gentlemen  of  honor"  were  conducted  upon  a  san- 
guinary scale.  There  are  rigid  laws  in  Italy  at  pres- 
ent against  the  custom,  although  there  are  meetings 
occasionally:  as  may  naturally  be  expected  in  a 
country  which  permits  its  hot-blooded  youth  to  study 
the  art  of  killing  as  openly  taught  in  the  fencing- 
schools  of  Florence,  Naples,  and  Milan.  The  Italians, 
and  especially  the  Neapolitans,  have  always  been 
regarded  as  the  best  swordsmen?  in  the  world;  and 
the  first  families  of  Italy  still  believe  in  "keeping 
their  hands  in"  by  constant  practice. 

There  have  always^  been  Spanish  laws  forbidding 
duelling;  and  in  1490  Ferdinand  and  Isabella  made 
an  example  of  the  Count  of  Luna  and  the  Count  of 
Valencia  for  exchanging  a  cartel  of  defiance,  and  had 
them  imprisoned,  although  Ferdinand  had  previously 
challenged  Alfonzo,  King  of  Portugal,  >to  meet  him 
in  mortal  combat.  There  has  been  an  act  of  the 
Cortes  for  three  hundred  years,  which  has  never  been 
repealed,  subjecting  all  parties  to  a  duel  to  the  penal- 
ties of  treason. 

One  of  the  most  romantic  modern  events  was  the 
duel  fought  at  Temesvar,  Hungary,  on  the  23d  day 
of  October,  1883,  between  Count  Stephan  Batthyany 
and  Julius  Rosenberg,  a  young  advocate,  in  which 
the  former  was  instantly  killed.  The  particulars 
show  the  tragedy  to  have  been  the  climax  of  a  thrill- 
ing romance  in  real  life,  some  of  the  personages  of 
which,  except  the  successful  duellist,  are  connected 
with  the  highest  Hungarian  aristocracy.  During  the 
preceding  summer,  Dr.  Rosenberg,  who  is  a  young 


DUELLING  IN  GERMAN  COUNTRIES.  7 1 

Hebrew  lawyer  in  Pesth,  made  the  acquaintance  at  a 
Bohemian  watering-place  of  Miss  Hona  von  Schos- 
berger,  the  younger  daughter  of  a  rich  Jewish  banker 
and  land-owner  named  Heinrich  Schosberger  de 
Tornya.  The  young  people  fell  in  love  with  each 
other.  The  girl's  parents,  however,  influenced  by 
their  son-in-law,  Baron  Bornemissa,  who  had  married 
their  eldest  daughter,  and  who  declared  that  the  mar- 
riage would  be  a  mesalliance  and  would  oblige  him  to 
break  his  (the  Baron's)  relations  with  them,  refused 
their  consent.  The  consequence  was  that  the  young 
couple  were  secretly  married.  Immediately  after  the 
ceremony  the  lady  returned  to  her  father's  house. 
Dr.  Rosenberg  shortly  afterward  appeared  there  and 
demanded  his  bride.  Herr  von  Schosberger  was 
ready  to  acknowledge  his  son-in-law,  but  Baron 
Bornemissa  was  of  a  different  opinion,  and  wanted 
to  shoot  the  young  plebeian.  By  the  Baron's  orders, 
the  young  lady  was  sent  to  Paris,  and  from  there  to 
one  of  her  father's  castles  in  one  of  the  wildest  regions 
in  the  interior  of  Hungary.  Subsequently  it  was 
announced  that  Miss  Hona  von  Schosberger  had 
become  a  Catholic  and  had  gone  to  Wiesbaden, 
Germany,  where  she  had  been  betrothed  to  Count 
Batthyany.  Dr.  Rosenberg,  hearing  the  rumor, 
hastened  there  and  had  an  interview  with  the  Count, 
in  which  he  told  him  that  the  young  woman  he  was 
about  to  marry  was  his  (Rosenberg's)  wife.  He  ap- 
pealed to  his  rival's  honor,  and  begged  him  not  to 
force  the  young  girl  into  an  illegal  marriage  to 
which  she  herself  was  opposed.  The  Count  for- 
mally refused  to  either  listen  to  him  or  to  pay 
any  attention  to  the  challenge  which  the  lawyer 
sent  to  him,  on  the  ground  that  the  challenger  was 


72  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR, 

not  his  equal  in  birth.  The  matter  was  laid  be- 
fore a  "court  of  honor"  in  Pesth,  and  after  a  long 
argument  it  was  decided  that  Rosenberg  was  compe- 
tent to  challenge  the  Count.  The  latter  still  refused 
to  pay  any  attention  to  it,  and  the  lawyer  published 
his  challenge  in  all  the  journals,  with  the  added 
stigma  of  such  epithets  as  "coward,"  "poltroon," 
applied  to  the  Count.  The  latter's  friends  came  to 
his  rescue,  and  a  peculiar  newspaper  controversy 
ensued,  in  the  midst  of  which  the  Count  married 
Miss  von  Schosberger,  and  started  on  a  wedding- 
tour  with  her  to  Italy.  The  young  lawyer's  vindic- 
tive lampoon  must,  however,  have  finally  induced  the 
Count  to  change  his  mind,  for  a  few  days  before  the 
duel  he  returned  to  Hungary  and  accepted  the  chal- 
lenge. The  conditions  were  very  rigorous.  The  pis- 
tols were  rifled.  The  duellists  were  to  fire  at  twenty 
paces.  Three  shots  were  to  be  exchanged,  after  each 
of  which  they  were  to  approach  five  paces  toward 
each  other.  The  duel,  as  already  stated,  took  place 
at  Temesvar.  The  Count  fired  the  first  shot  and 
missed.  Dr.  Rosenberg,  without  advancing  the  five 
paces  as  he  had  a  right  to,  aimed  at  his  opponent  and 
fired.  The  ball  struck  the  Count's  right  temple,  and 
passed  through  his  brain.  Death  was  instantaneous. 
Leaving  the  seconds  to  take  care  of  the  corpse,  Dr. 
Rosenberg  left  the  scene  of  the  tragedy.  The  next 
day  at  four  o'clock  the  funeral-services  of  the  Count 
took  place  at  Temesvar.  The  coffin  was  covered 
with  splendid  wreaths,  one  of  which  bore  the  inscrip- 
tion, "To  my  adored  husband." 

Gustavus  Adolphus,  of  Sweden,  was  a  prominent 
foe  to  all  manners  of  mortal  combat,  and  at  one  time 
during  his  reign  established  a  court  of  honor,  and 


DUELLING  IN  GERMAN  COUNTRIES.  73 

issued  an  order  that  any  subject,  civil  or  military, 
who  should  send  or  accept  a  challenge  should  be 
punished  by  execution  ;  and  it  is  related  of  the  King 
that,  upon  a  certain  occasion,  after  granting  permis- 
sion to  two  of  his  officers  to  engage  in  a  duel,  he 
repaired  to  the  place  selected  for  the  hostile  encoun- 
ter, accompanied  by  a  squadron  of  cavalry  and  the 
public  executioner,  and  surrounded  the  combatants 
and  their  friends,  and  said,  just  as  the  principals  were 
advancing  with  their  drawn  weapons  :  "  Do  not  be 
surprised,  gentlemen  ;  for,  according  to  the  laws  of 
your  country,  your  lives  are  already  forfeited.  You 
may  now  proceed  with  the  combat  ;  but,  mark  you  ! 
the  moment  either  of  you  falls  by  the  sword  of  the 
other,  that  instant  the  executioner  strikes  off  the 
head  of  the  survivor  by  order  of  your  king  !"  Of 
course,  the  combat  did  not  proceed  ;  but,  after  re- 
covering from  their  surprise  and  mortification,  the 
two  officers  knelt  at  the  feet  of  their  sovereign,  im- 
plored his  forgiveness,  and  then  embraced  and  for- 
gave each  other.  Gustavus  declared  that,  although 
he  should  positively  never  again  interfere  with  the 
course  of  the  law  for  the  punishment  of  such  of- 
fences, he  would  bestow  his  pardon  upon  the  offend- 
ing officers,  and  added :  "  It  is  my  wish  to  have 
soldiers  under  my  command,  and  not  gladiators.  If 
any  man  is  desirous  of  freeing  his  character  from  the 
imputation  of  cowardice  in  the  eyes  of  his  fellow- 
countrymen,  let  him  do  so  at  the  expense  of  the 
common  enemy."  There  is  something  seemingly 
noble  and  certainly  dramatic  in  this  whole  perform- 
ance of  Gustavus  ;  but  not  so  highly  dramatic  as  his 
galloping  after  Colonel  Seaton,  a  Scotch  officer  in  his 
service,  whom  he  had  offended,  and  exclaiming  to  the 


74  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

indignant  Scot,  after  overtaking  the  latter  outside  of 
the  Kingis  dominions,  "Dismount,  sir!  I  acknowl- 
edge that  I  have  injured  you,  and  I  have  come  to 
give  you  the  satisfaction  of  a  gentleman  ;  for  we  are 
now  without  my  dominions,  and  Gustavus  and  you 
are  equal  !"  Seaton,  however  (to  complete  the  story), 
recovering  from  his  surprise,  dismounted,  as  Gus- 
tavus had  already  done  ;  and,  falling  on  his  knees, 
said  :  "  Sire,  you  have  more  than  given  me  satisfac- 
tion, in  condescending  to  make  me  your  equal.  God 
forbid  that  my  sword  should  do  any  mischief  to  so 
brave  and  gracious  a  sovereign.  Permit  me  to  re- 
turn to  Stockholm,  and  allow  me  the  honor  to  live 
and  die  in  your  service."  The  King  raised  his  com- 
panion from  the  ground,  embraced  him,  and  they 
returned  together  to  Stockholm. 

The  laws  against  duelling  in  Russia,  like  many  of 
the  laws  of  that  country,  have  been  very  severe  ;  and 
the  terrors  of  Siberian  exile  have  undoubtedly  been 
the  cause  of  prolonging  many  a  valuable  life  which 
would  have  otherwise  been  lost  unnecessarily  had  not 
the  dreadful  picture  of  the  horrors  of  banishment 
been  kept  well  in  view.  Fedor  III.,  Peter  the  Great, 
and  Paul  all  forbade  duelling  in  the  army,  although 
the  latter,  in  1800,  invited  the  sovereigns  of  Europe 
to  meet  at  St.  Petersburg  and  settle  all  existing  dis- 
putes in  a  combat,  with  Talleyrand,  Pitt,  and  Bern- 
stoff  as  seconds.  During  the  reign  of  Catherine  II., 
some  time  in  1776,  Field-Marshal  Potemkin,  who  had 
won  the  affections  of  the  Empress,  and  who  had 
afterward  secured  and  maintained  an  arrogant  ad- 
ministration of  all  Russian  affairs  of  state,  was  chal- 
lenged by  and  fought  with  Alexis  Orliff.  The 
weapons  used  by  these  two  princes  were  swords  ; 


DUELLING  IN  GERMAN  COUNTRIES.  75 

and,  after  a  protracted  combat,  Alexis  was  defeated, 
although  Potemkin  came  out  of  the  difficulty  with 
the  loss  of  an  eye.  In  1849,  Baron  de  Heckeren,  an 
officer  of  the  Russian  Imperial  Guard,  killed  Pouch- 
kin,  the  poet,  in  a  duel  with  pistols,  and  was  after- 
ward dishonorably  dismissed  the  service  and  com- 
pelled to  leave  his  country. 


THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 


CHAPTER  V. 
DUELLING  IN  AMERICA. 

The  First  "  Affair  of  Honor"  on  the  Western  Continent — The 
Four  most  noted  Fatal  Duels  in  the  United  States — The  Ameri- 
can Code:  "Posting" — Wilkinson  and  Randolph — Captain 
Dawson,  of  South  Carolina,  knighted  by  the  Pope — The 
"Code"  of  the  "Cowboys" — A  Desperate  Encounter — 
Characteristics  of  the  Cowboys — Early  Days  in  California 
— Hicks  Graham  and  Yank  Maguire — An  Incident  in  the  Life 
of  General  Magruder — The  Tragic  Story  of  the  Bowie-Knife. 

THE  history  of  duelling  in  America  is  replete  with 
thrilling  and  heart-rending  chapters — and  especially 
from  1770  until  1840 — although  public  opinion  in  the 
United  States  has  never  sanctioned  the  custom  to  the 
extent  that  it  has  been  countenanced  in  other  coun- 
tries. It  is  a  curious  fact  that  the  modes  of  dealing 
with  the  evil  in  the  United  States  and  in  European 
countries  have  been  quite  the  reverse  :  that,  while 
European  rulers  have  made  every  effort — even  to  the 
dragging  of  wounded  duellists  from  the  field  of 
action  to  places  of  execution — to  suppress  the  mur- 
derous custom,  their  subjects  have  generally  held  it 
in  high  favor ;  and  that,  while  the  people  of  the 
United  States,  with  too  few  prominent  exceptions  to 
mention,  have  always  deprecated  duelling  in  all  its 
forms,  the  laws  of  many  of  the  States  up  to  1850 
were  not  such  as  to  make  the  practice  criminal  or 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  77 

odious,  and  a  bill  to  prohibit  the  sending  and  accept- 
ing challenges  in  the  District  of  Columbia  did  not 
pass  until  1838  ;  and  even  then  the  Hon.  Thomas 
Clayton,  United  States  Senator  from  Delaware, 
while  he  maintained  his  abhorrence  of  the  custom, 
and  believed  duelling  to  be  both  illegal  and  im- 
moral, claimed  "  that  it  was  not  of  that  class  of 
crimes  which  should  subject  offenders  to  the  cells  of 
a  penitentiary  and  make  them  the  associates  of 
felons."  Mr.  Linn,  a  Senator  from  Missouri,  was 
aware  that  duelling  was  not  defensible  on  principles 
of  Christianity,  and  concluded  by  saying:  "All  the 
States  have  concurred  in  denouncing  the  practice  of 
duelling  as  an  evil  in  itself  ;  and  yet,  have  we  not 
seen  them,  through  their  Legislatures  or  Executives, 
stay  the  laws  ?  From  what  I  have  seen,  fighting  is 
like  marrying:  the  more  barriers  that  are  erected 
against  it,  the  surer  are  the  interested  parties  to 
come  together."  Mr.  Preston,  of  South  Carolina, 
who  was  also  opposed  to  duelling,  thought  that  "  the 
severer  the  laws  the  more  inefficient."  Mr.  Sevier,  of 
Arkansas,  "did  not  believe  in  legislating  against  the 
custom."  The  great  Clay,  of  Kentucky,  declared 
that  he  would  be  happy  to  see  the  barbarous  system 
abolished.  "  The  man  with  a  high  sense  of  honor," 
said  Mr.  Clay,  "and  nice  sensibility,  when  the  ques- 
tion is  whether  he  shall  fight  or  have  the  finger  of 
scorn  pointed  at  him,  is  unable  to  resist;  and  few,  very 
few,  are  found  willing  to  adopt  such  an  alternative. 
When  public  opinion  is  renovated  and  chastened  by 
reason,  religion,  and  humanity,  the  practice  of  duel- 
ling will  be  discountenanced.  It  is  the  office  of 
legislation,"  however,  to  do  all  it  can  to  bring  about 
this  healthful  state  of  the  public  mind  ;  and,  al- 


78  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

though  it  might  not  altogether  effect  so  desirable  a 
result,  I  have  no  doubt  it  will  do  much  toward  it,  and 
I  shall  give  my  vote  for  the  bill  " — and  the  bill  was 
passed  by  34  yeas  and  i  nay  (Sevier  of  Arkansas). 

There  are  few  commonwealths  in  the  American 
Union  in  which  duelling  has  been  absolutely  un- 
known ;  even  the  little  State  of  Rhode  Island  and 
her  severer  sister  (Massachusetts)  having  been  scenes 
of  mortal  combat,  in  which  personal  difficulties  were 
forever  settled  upon  bloody  fields.  It  is  a  note- 
worthy fact,  however,  that  the  laws  against  the 
tyrannical  custom  have  always  been  more  vigorous 
and  restraining  in  the  Northern  States  than  in  the 
Southern,  although  two  of  the  most  eminent  Ameri- 
can crusaders  against  the  evil  were  Charles  Cotes- 
worth  Pinckney  and  Robert  Barnwell  Rhett,  of  South 
Carolina.  It  is  the  boast  of  Illinois  that  but  one  duel 
has  ever  been  fought  upon  her  soil — in  which  the 
challenged  party  (Alphonso  Stewart)  was  killed  and 
the  survivor  (William  Bennett)  hanged.  The  records 
of  duelling  in  the  Southern  States,  so  far  as  the 
author  has  been  able  to  reach  them,  show  that  the 
custom  has  been  most  populaily  adhered  to  in 
Virginia,  South  Carolina,  Florida,  Mississippi,  Loui- 
siana, and  Arkansas,  although  all  of  the  other  com- 
monwealths in  the  Southern  cluster  are  more  or  less 
dotted  with  sanguinary  fields.  There  have  been 
more  fatal  duels  in  California  (fought  according  to 
the  code  duello%  or  similar  regulations)  than  in  all  of 
the  other  so-called  Northern  States  ;  and  between  the 
years  1850  and  1860  more  fatal  encounters  took  place 
in  the  Golden  State  than  elsewhere  in  the  Union 
during  the  same  length  of  time. 

Two  tragic  events  took  place  in  Virginia  and  South 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA,  79 

Carolina  early  in  the  nineteenth  century  which  had 
the  effect  of  suppressing  the  custom  in  those  States, 
for  a  short  time,  at  least.  In  the  former,  near  Rich- 
mond, there  lived  a  notorious  duellist  named  Powell, 
who  purposely  met  and  insulted  an  English  traveller 
for  having  said  that  "  the  Virginians  were  of  no  use 
to  the  American  Union,  it  requiring  one  half  of  the 
people  to  keep  the  other  half  in  order."  The  remark 
was  made  the  subject  of  a  national  quarrel,  and  at 
last  Powell  challenged  the  audacious  Briton  to  fight. 
The  latter  accepted  the  challenge,  and  secured  an- 
other noted  American  duellist  as  his  second,  and 
went  into  training  for  the  combat,  which  took  place 
in  a  few  days  afterward,  in  the  presence  of  a  large 
number  of  peopk,  and  in  which  Powell  was  killed  at 
the  first  shot.  At  about  the  same  time  there  was  a 
duelling  society  in  Charleston  (S.  C.),  where  each 
member  took  precedence  according  to  the  number  of 
persons  he  had  killed  or  wounded  in  duels ;  and 
about  this  time  an  old  weather-beaten  officer  of  the 
English  navy  arrived  at  Charleston  to  look  after  some 
property  which  had  devolved  upon  him  by  right  of 
marriage  with  a  lady  of  that  city,  and  soon  after  got 
into  an  altercation  with  the  president  of  the  duelling 
club,  who  challenged  the  stranger  and  was  accepted. 
Early  the  following  morning  eight  or  ten  gentlemen 
called  upon  the  Englishman  and  informed  him  that 
the  American  was  a  "dead  shot;"  and  added  that, 
although  the  members  of  the  society  were  generally 
of  the  wealthy  class,  the  organization  was  held  in 
disrepute  by  the  more  respectable  citizens,  and  that 
he  would  be  held  in  no  disesteem  by  declining  to 
meet  a  professional  duellist.  The  stranger  replied 
that  he  was  afraid  of  no  duellist  in  the  world  ;  that 


8O  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 

he  had  accepted  the  challenge  in  good  faith  and  pro- 
posed to  meet  his  man.  The  parties  accordingly  met, 
and  at  the  first  fire  the  Englishman  mortally  wounded 
his  antagonist,  who,  while  lingering  in  great  agony, 
called  the  members  of  the  club  to  his  bedside  and 
requested  them  to  disorganize,  and  to  do  all  in  their 
power  to  suppress  the  further  encouragement  of  an 
atrocious  custom  the  practice  of  which  had  at  last 
brought  him  to  his  grave'.  The  members  carried  out 
faithfully  the  dying  request  of  their  late  comrade  by 
disorganizing  the  day  after  the  interment;  and  thus 
ended  the  first  and  last  duelling  society  in  the  United 
States. 

Very  good  authority  may  be  given  for  the  state- 
ment that  the  first  real  duel  fought  in  America  took 
place  at  Plymouth  (Massachusetts),  on  the  i8th  of 
June,  1621,  between  Edward  Doty  and  Edward 
Leicester — two  servants — both  of  whom  fought  with 
daggers  and  were  wounded,  one  in  the  hand  and  the 
other  in  the  leg.  It  was  extremely  fortunate  for  one 
or  perhaps  for  both  of  the  combatants  that  neither 
was  killed  :  and,  in  all  probability,  it  was  the  very 
best  thing  that  could  have  happened  both  of  them 
that  each  sustained  serious  injury  ;  for  their  meeting 
produced  great  excitement,  not  only  on  account  of 
the  outrage  committed  by  them,  but  for  the  reason 
that  the  combatants  were  servants  of  gentlemen,  and 
not  "real  gentlemen,"  therefore,  themselves.  Still, 
as  both  men  sustained  severe  injuries,  some  sympathy 
was  manifested  for  them,  and  they  were  only  sentenced 
to  the  punishment  of  having  their  heads  and  feet  tied 
together  and  of  lying  thus  for  twenty-four  hours 
without  food  or  drink — which  sentence,  however,  was 
suspended,  after  an  hour's  suffering,  at  the  inter- 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  8 1 

cession  of  tneir  masters  and  upon  their  own  pitiful 
request  and  humble  promise  never  again  to  startle 
the  government  under  which  they  lived  by  the  com- 
mission of  a  similar  outrage.  Thus  the  evil  was 
"nipped  in  the  bud,"  so  to  speak;  and  it  was  not 
until  after  the  commencement  of  the  revolutionary 
war  that  citizens  of  the  United  States  met  in  mortal 
combat  to  any  dangerous  extent.  The  custom  came 
into  conspicuous  practice,  however,  at  the  opening  of 
the  nineteenth  century,  and  raged  to  an  alarming  de- 
gree (especially  among  officers  of  the  army  and  navy) 
until  it  was  frowned  upon  by  public  opinion  and  in  a 
measure  prohibited  bylaws  created  for  its  abatement. 
During  the  war  with  Tripoli  many  fatal  collisions 
took  place  between  American  and  English  officers, 
and  also  in  1819  between  American  naval  officers  and 
officers  of  the  British  garrison  at  Gibraltar.  During 
the  civil  war  in  the  United  States  there  were  few  or 
no  hostile  meetings  among  Federal  officers.  Among 
the  Confederates  there  were  a  number  of  fatal  duels, 
the  most  conspicuous  being  that  between  General 
Marmaduke,  of  Missouri,  and  General  Walker,  of 
Georgia,  in  which  the  latter  was  slain. 

Undoubtedly  the  four  most  noted  fatal  duels 
fought  in  the  United  States  were  those  between 
Alexander  Hamilton  and  Aaron  Burr,  at  Weehawken 
(N.  J.),  July  u,  1804;  Stephen  Decatur  and  James 
Barren,  at  Bladensburg  (Md.),  March  22,  1820  ; 
Jonathan  Cilley  and  William  J.  Graves,  near  the 
boundary-line  of  Maryland  and  the  District  of  Co- 
lumbia, February  24,  1838;  and  David  C.  Broderick 
and  David  S.  Terry,  near  Laguna  de  la  Merced,  about 
twelve  miles  from  San  Francisco  (Cal.),  September 
T3>  T859-  All  of  the  challenged  parties  in  these 


82  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

encounters  were  mortally  wounded  or  killed  ;  none  of 
the  others  were  injured,  except  Barren,  who,  though 
dangerously  wounded,  survived.  The  weapons  used 
in  three  of  these  duels  were  pistols,  while  Messrs. 
Cilley  and  Graves  fought  with  rifles.  Hamilton  had 
been  a  general  in  the  army  and  Burr  was  Vice-Presi- 
dent of  the  United  States;  Decatur  and  Barron  were 
post-captains  of  the  navy  ;  Cilley  and  Graves  were 
members  of  Congress  from  Maine  and  Kentucky  ; 
Broderick  was  a  United  States  Senator  from  Cali- 
fornia, and  Terry  was  ex-Chief-Justice  of  the  Su- 
preme Court  of  the  same  State. 

[The  allusion  just  made  to  the  four  most  noted  fatal 
meetings  upon  American  soil  is  merely  general,  as  the 
author  will  present  full  descriptions  of  these  encoun- 
ters in  later  chapters,  as  well  as  accounts  of  many  oth- 
er distinguished  combats,  a  number  of  which  "  were 
settled  with  satisfaction  to  both  parties"  without  the 
shedding  of  priceless  blood.  He  will  also  present  de- 
scriptions of  all  or  nearly  all  of  the  fatal  duels  which 
have  taken  place  in  America  since  the  commencement 
of  the  practice  in  that  country,  and  of  a  great  many 
of  the  most  celebrated  European  combats  and  chal- 
lenges ;  having  spent  much  of  his  leisure  time  during 
twenty  years  in  obtaining  accurate  and  interesting 
information  of  this  character.  He  has  visited  the 
bloody  field  at  Bladensburg,  and  surveyed  the  spot 
upon  which  the  noble  Cilley  fell  ;  he  has  viewed  from 
a  western  window  of  the  Jumel  mansion  the  well- 
known  shore  of  Weehawken,  beyond  the  quiet  Hudson, 
where  the  illustrious  Hamilton  received  his  mortal 
wound  ;  and  he  is  familiar  with  the  bloody  ground 
upon  which  the  lamented  Broderick  madly  flung  a 
chivalrous  life  away.] 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  83 

There  has  been  no  strictly  American  Code  of  Honor, 
although  a  majority  of  the  duels  fought  in  the  United 
States  by  gentlemen  have  been  arranged  and  carried 
on  according  to  rules  and  regulations  promiscuously 
adopted  from  the  code  duello  of  foreign  countries.  "  Post- 
ing," however,  is  strictly  an  American  conceit,  and 
seems  to  have  originated  with  General  James  Wilkin- 
son, U.  S.  A.,  whose  challenge  to  John  Randolph,  mem- 
ber of  Congress  from  Virginia  in  1807,  was  disdainfully 
declined  by  the  haughty  Virginian,  who  concluded  his 
letter  as  follows  :  "  In  you,  sir,  I  can  recognize  no 
right  to  hold  me  accountable  for  my  public  or  private 
opinion  of  your  character  that  would  not  subject  me  to 
an  equal  claim  from  Colonel  Burr  or  Sergeant  Dun- 
baugh.  I  cannot  descend  to  your  level.  This  is  my 
final  answer."  The  audacious  Wilkinson  was  not  to 
be  thus  summarily  disposed  of,  and  he  indignantly 
replied:  "I  have  received  your  letter  of  the  25th 
instant,  by  mail,  in  which  you  violate  truth  and  honor 
to  indulge  the  inherent  malignity  and  rancor  of  your 
soul.  On  what  level,  pray,  sir,  shall  we  find  the 
wretch  who,  to  mask  his  cowardice,  fabricates  false- 
hoods, and  heaps  unprovoked  insults  upon  unmerited 
injuries?  You  cannot  descend  to  my  level! — vain, 
equivocal  thing !  And  you  believe  this  dastardly 
subterfuge  will  avail  you,  or  that  your  lion's  skin  will 
longer  conceal  your  true  character?  Embrace  the 
alternative,  still  in  your  reach,  and  ascend  to  the  level 
of  a  gentleman,  if  possible  ;  act  like  a  man,  if  you  can, 
and  spare  me  the  pain  of  publishing  you  to  the  world 
for  an  insolent,  slanderous,  prevaricating  poltroon." 
No  further  action  in  the  matter  was  taken  by  Ran- 
dolph ;  and  the  next  time  Congress  assembled  Gen- 
eral Wilkinson  stuck  up,  or  posted,  notices,  as  follows, 


84  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

in  all  the  taverns  and  street-corners  of  the  National 
Capital : 

HECTOR  UNMASKED.— In  justice  to  my  character,  I  de- 
nounce to  the  world  John  Randolph,  a  member  of  Congress, 
as  a  prevaricating,  base,  calumniating  scoundrel,  poltroon, 
and  coward. 

Posting  became  frequent  in  the  United  States  after 
this  episode,  and  it  has  been  no  uncommon  thing  to 
meet  a  card  in  a  newspaper,  or  a  notice  in  some  pub- 
lic place,  declaring  that "  is  an  unprinci- 
pled villain  and  a  coward."  The  author  has  witnessed 
many  cases  of  this  custom  of  posting  in  New  Orleans, 
Nashville,  and  Savannah,  and  calls  to  his  mind, 
while  writing,  that  of  a  young  gentleman  of  Los  An- 
geles (Cal.)  who  posted  a  former  friend  (with  whom 
he  had  had  a  disturbance  at  a  party,  and  subsequent- 
ly sent  him  a  challenge  which  was  unnoticed)  "  as  a 
cur  and  a  coward,"  and  sat  under  the  notice  with  a 
double-barrelled  shot-gun  for  seventeen  hours. 

At  present,  all  of  the  States  and  Territories  of  the 
Union,  either  in  their  constitutions  or  laws,  have  rigid 
provisions  against  the  giving  or  accepting  challenges, 
acting  as  seconds,  or  in  any  way  assisting  those  of- 
fending. A  majority  of  the  States  and  Territories 
prevent  all  such  offenders  from  holding  any  office  of 
profit;  and  quite  a  number  of  the  States  provide  for 
the  disfranchisement  of  such  offenders.  In  California 
and  in  several  other  States  the  act  of  "  posting"  and 
publishing  persons  for  not  fighting  a  duel,  or  for  not 
sending  or  accepting  a  challenge  to  fight,  or  for  the 
use  of  any  reproachful  language — verbal,  written,  or 
printed — to  or  concerning  persons  for  not  sending  or 
accepting  a  challenge  to  fight,  or  with  intent  to  pro- 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  85 

voke  a  duel,  is  punishable  by  fine  and  imprisonment. 
There  are  also  provisions  for  remedies  by  action  for 
injuries  arising  from  duelling  in  most  of  the  States, 
and  in  a  number  there  are  laws  providing  that  the 
survivor  of  a  fatal  duel — who  may  also  be  tried  for 
murder — shall  support  the  family  of  the  deceased, 
either  by  aggregate  compensation  in  damages  to  each 
member,  or  by  a  monthly,  quarterly,  or  annual  allow- 
ance, to  be  determined  by  a  court;  and  the  slayer  is 
also  liable  for  and  must  pay  all  debts  of  the  person 
slain  or  permanently  disabled. 

Articles  26  and  27  of  Section  1342  Revised  Statutes 
of  the  United  States  says:  "  No  officer  or  soldier  shall 
send  a  challenge  to  another  officer  or  soldier  to  fight 
a  duel,  or  accept  a  challenge  so  sent.  Any  officer 
who' so  offends  shall  be  dismissed  from  the  service. 
Any  soldier  who  so  offends  shall  suffer  such  corporal 
punishment  as  a  court-martial  may  direct;  and  all 
seconds  or  promoters  of  duels,  and  all  carriers  of  chal- 
lenges to  fight  duels,  shall  be  deemed  principals,  and 
punished  accordingly."  Article  8  of  Section  1624 
says:  "Such  punishment  as  a  court-martial  may 
adjudge  may  be  inflicted  on  any  person  in  the  navy 
who  sends  or  accepts  a  challenge  to  fight  a  duel  or 
acts  as  a  second  in  a  duel." 

It  will  be  seen  by  the  foregoing  that  duelling  in  the 
United  States  has  been  made  not  only  as  criminal 
and  as  odious  as  it  seems  possible  to  make  the  cus- 
tom, but  it  is  also  made  permanently  expensive  to 
survivors  of  fatal  encounters  in  many  of  the  States, 
while  its  indulgence,  either  as  principals  or  seconds, 
forever  prohibits  such  offenders  from  holding  politi- 
cal or  other  positions  of  profit;  this  last  provision 
being  (as  United  Senator  Grundy,  of  Tennessee,  once 


86  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

declared,  while  condemning  the  practice),  "severer 
punishment,  in  the  eyes  of  some  people,  even  than  ten 
years'  confinement  in  a  penitentiary."  Practically, 
public  opinion  firmly  sustains  the  consolidated  enact- 
ments for  the  suppression  of  duelling  in  the  United 
States;  and,  as  an  institution,  it  may  be  said  to  have 
ceased  to  exist  in  our  beloved  country, — notwith- 
standing the  Cash-Shannon  duel  in  South  Carolina  in 
1880,  the  Elam-Beirne  meeting  in  Virginia  in  1883, 
and  later  the  remarkable  encounter  in  Louisiana  be- 
tween a  soda-water  seller  and  a  catfish  dealer  of  New 
Orleans,  which  was  fought  with  rapiers,  and  lasted 
eighty-three  minutes  before  either  of  the  combatants 
drew  blood. 

No  better  illustration  of  the  efficacy  of  the  laws 
against  duelling  can  be  presented  than  the  statement 
that  the  bill  to  remove  the  disabilities  of  persons  con- 
nected with  duelling  was  defeated  in  the  Virginia  Le- 
gislature on  the  ipth  of  December,  1883.  During  the 
discussion,  Mr.  Pollard,  of  King  and  Queen,  said  that 
duelling  was  contrary  to  the  civilization  of  our  age, 
and  public  sentiment  should  frown  it  down.  "  He 
had  known  men  who  had  been  in  the  front  of  battle 
refuse  to  fight  duels.  The  Code  was  no  test  of  true 
bravery  in  its  highest  sense."  Mr.  Leftwich  thought 
the  law  ought  to  be  either  enforced  or  repealed  en- 
tirely. Mr.  Opie  said  that  as  nobody  seemed  to  have 
been  hurt  he  was  in  favor  of  the  bill.  Mr.  Saunders 
said:  "I  am  opposed  to  the  bill."  Mr.  Opie— "  Do 
you  believe  any  law  can  stop  duelling  ?"  Mr.  Saun- 
ders— "I  don't  know  whether  it  will  or  not."  The 
vote  was  taken,  and  the  bill  was  defeated  by  the  failure 
to  get  a  two-thirds  vote.  It  will  be  remembered  that, 
early  in  the  summer  of  1883,  Richard  F.  Beirne,  edi- 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  87 

tor  of  the  Richmond  State,  and  W.  C.  Elam,  editor  of 
the  Whig,  met  in  mortal  combat,  in  which  the  latter 
was  dangerously  wounded.  Mr.  Beirne  is  one  of  the 
most  prominent  Democrats  in  Virginia.  His  name 
has  been  prominently  mentioned  in  connection  with 
the  nomination  of  his  party  for  Governor  in  1885. 
The  fact,  however,  that  he  has  not  attained  the  age  re- 
quired by  the  Constitution  makes  him  ineligible  for 
that  position.  Mr.  Elam  is  spoken  of  as  the  candi- 
date of  his  party  for  the  same  office.  It  is  for  these 
reasons  that  the  Legislature  was  called  upon,  but  re- 
fused, to  relieve  the  disabilities  of  these  two  gentle- 
men incurred  on  the  "  field  of  honor." 

In  this  connection  it  is  pleasant  to  note  that  Captain 
F.  W.  Dawson,  editor  of  the  Charleston  (S.  C.)  News 
and  Courier,  was  created  Knight  of  the  Order  of  St. 
George  by  the  Pope,  on  account  of  his  persistent  op- 
position to  duelling,  on  November  23,  1883.  Captain 
Dawson  is  an  Englishman  by  birth,  joined  the  Con- 
federate service  in  1861,  and  served  with  distinction 
during  the  civil  war — the  latter  part  of  the  time  on 
the  staff  of  Fitz-Hugh  Lee.  After  the  surrender  he 
went  to  Charleston  and  served  for  some  time  as  asso- 
ciate editor  on  the  Mercury,  and  left  that  paper  on  be- 
coming part  owner  and  editor  of  the  Charleston  News. 
In  a  short  time  afterward  he  was  challenged  to  mor- 
tal combat  by  the  manager  of  the  Mercury /  to  which 
Dawson  responded  that,  being  a  Roman  Catholic, 
under  no  circumstances  would  he  accept  a  challenge 
or  fight  a  duel.  In  1866  a  similar  demand  was  made 
by  General  Gary,  a  well-known  South  Carolinian,  and 
declined  on  the  same  grounds.  Dawson  then  took  an 
active  part  against  duels,  and  especially  when  the 
Cash-Shannon  duel  took  place  in  1880.  Up  to  that 


88  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

time  there  never  had  been  in  South  Carolina  a  trial 
at  common  law  for  murder  in  a  duel,  and  the  Cash 
trials,  although  the  jury  disagreed  on  the  first  trial 
and  a  verdict  of  acquittal  was  rendered  on  the  second 
trial,  were  the  death-blow  to  duelling  in  that  State. 
The  Legislature  took  the  matter  up  and  passed  a 
statute  making  duelling  murder,  and  requiring  every 
public  officer  in  the  State,  in  addition  to  the  usual 
office  oath,  to  take  an  oath  not  to  send  or  receive  a 
challenge  or  engage  in  a  duel  while  in  office;  and 
there  has  not  been  a  duel  in  the  State  since  the  pas- 
sage of  the  law. 

There  is  one  exception,  however,  to  the  statements 
heretofore  made;  that  is,  there  still  remains  a  duel- 
ling custom  among  a  class  of  Americans  known  as 
the  "  cowboys"  of  the  West,  which  nothing  but  the 
overwhelming  approach  of  civilization  and  power  of 
empire  can  effectually  obliterate.  The  cowboy  is  os- 
tensibly an  owner  or  herder  of  stock  upon  unpur- 
chased  or  unpaid-for  ranges  of  nutritious  grasses  in 
the  western  part  of  the  United  States;  but,  in  reality, 
he  is  a  stealer  of  horses  and  cattle,  a  guzzler  of  adul- 
terated spirits,  and  a  shooter  of  men;  and  it  may  be 
said  of  him,  with  perfect  truthfulness,  that  he  fears 
neither  God,  man,  nor  devil.  He  roams  over  a  vast 
area  of  sparsely  settled  or  unsettled  country  lying  be- 
tween the  twenty-ninth  and  forty-seventh  parallels  of 
latitude  and  between  meridians  of  longitude  twenty- 
two  and  thirty-eight.  He  is  most  numerously  and 
lawlessly  found,  however,  in  the  Territories  of  Mon- 
tana, Arizona,  and  New  Mexico;  although  he  is  by 
no  means  so  scarce  in  the  States  of  Texas,  Kansas, 
and  Colorado  that  he  is  never  seen.  He  is  an  Apollo 
Belvidere  in  physical  shape  and  beauty;  he  dresses  in 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  89 

true  frontier  style — in  a  blue  flannel  shirt  and  flam- 
ing red  necktie,  dark  pants  stuck  into  high-legged 
kip  boots,  and  sombrero.  He  earries  a  wicked  knife 
in  a  boot-leg,  and  one  or  more  revolvers  at  his  waist. 
His  arms  and  ammunition  are  always  kept  in  perfect 
order,  and  he  is  the  most  accomplished  shot  in  the 
world.  He  is  a  matchless  rider,  and  may  often  be 
seen  by  the  traveller  through  Arizona  and  New 
Mexico  tearing  through  the  chapparal  like  lightning 
alongside  of  a  railway-train,  whooping  like  a  Coman- 
che,  and  sending  harmless  bullets  through  the  head- 
light of  the  locomotive.  He  is  at  once  generous, 
reckless,  lawless,  dissipated,  desperate,  and  danger- 
ous, and  dashes  furiously  through  the  hell  upon  earth 
of  his  own  creating  like  a  picturesque  devil  to  his 
grave.  His  "code"  is  to  "always  go  well  heeled  and 
never  let  an  enemy  get  the  drop  on  him" 

There  are  different  grades  and  samples  of  the  genus 
cowboy:  there  is  the  "  Howler  of  the  Prairies,"  the 
"  Terror  from  the  Upper  Trail,"  and  the  "  Blizzard  of 
the  States."  Their  manners  and  customs,  however, 
are  about  the  same,  except  that  many  of  them  have 
had  superior  advantages  of  education  and  home  in- 
fluences, while  others  were  rocked  in  the  cradle  of 
infamy  at  the  start.  Few  of  them  live  to  be  thirty 
years  of  age,  and  ninety-nine  out  of  every  hundred 
who  are  sent  to  their  last  account  fill  dishonored 
graves  through  the  medium  of  a  deadly  missile  or 
the  forbidding  noose  of  the  hangman.  The  writer 
has  seen  the  redoubtable  "  Billy  the  Kid"  (who,  when 
only  nineteen,  had  killed  his  eleventh  man),  and  has 
heard  him  tell  the  story  of  his  murderous  exploits 
with  marvellous  nonchalance.  He  has  witnessed 
"  Curly  Bill  "  shoot  off  the  winkers  of  a  man  without 


90  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

harming  the  sight,  and  pick  off  the  stoppers  from 
liquor-decanters  at  twenty  paces  without  fracturing 
their  necks.  He  has  heard  this  renowned  devil  boast 
of  his  own  private  cemetery,  which,  he  said,  lacked 
only  one  of  a  score  of  graves;  and  has  then  observed 
him  draw  his  six-shooter  quietly  and  take  off  a 
button  from  a  companion's  coat.  Both  of  these 
desperate  fellows  have  been  laid  away  in  unknown 
sarcophagi,  like  hundreds  of  others  of  the  same  kind, 
and  the  graveyards  they  created  keep  gradually  fill- 
ing up.  Large  numbers  of  these  cowboys  meet 
death  by  fighting  duels,  without  the  aid  of  seconds 
or  other  assistants;  and  either  one  or  both  of  the 
combatants  are  killed  on  the  spot.  There  is  this 
spark  of  honor  exhibited,  generally:  an  armed  man 
will  not  shoot  down  an  unarmed  one;  but  will,  in 
case  of  a  quarrel  with  an  unarmed  person,  direct  him 
to  go  and  get  a  weapon  and  return.  Upon  the  re- 
appearance of  the  challenged  party,  the  spectators 
afford  them  ample  room,  and  the  shooting  is  com- 
menced without  further  words  and  kept  up  until  at 
least  one  of  the  combatants  is  killed  or  mortally  hurt. 
One  of  the  most  desperate  duels  ever  engaged  in 
by  any  of  these  fellows  was  that  fought  by  a  Mexican 
cowboy  named  Jesus  Garcia  and  a  young  Philadel- 
phian  named  Gus  Davis  at  a  camp  on  the  .  river 
Pecos  (New  Mexico),  August  7,  1883,  and  which 
has  been  described  by  a  correspondent  of  the  New 
York  Sun,  as  follows: 

Gus  Davis,  of  Philadelphia,  came  here  several  months 
ago,  and  was  engaged  as  a  cattle-herder  by  Mr.  John  Shure, 
a  wealthy  stock-owner.  Davis  soon  showed  himself  to  be  a 
useful  man,  and  gained  the  esteem  of  his  employer  and  the 
envy  of  the  other  herders.  In  less  than  three  months  he 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  QI 

had  resisted  so  many  temptations  to  quarrel  with  his  associ- 
ates that  he  was  nicknamed  "  The  Northern  Coward."  One 
morning,  about  three  weeks  ago,  while  Davis  was  on  duty 
looking  after  his  cattle,  Jesus  Garcia,  a  Mexican,  saluted 
him,  as  usual,  with  "  Good-morning,  Northern  Coward." 
Human  endurance  has  its  limit,  and  Mr.  Davis  thought  he 
had  been  insulted  long  enough.  The  Mexican  was  at  first 
surprised  at  the  stand  taken  by  the  Philadelphian,  but  word 
brought  on  word,  until  each  determined  that  the  other 
must  die.  The  quarrel  soon  brought  all  the  neighboring 
cowboys  to  the  spot.  The  mode  of  combat  was  speedily  ar- 
ranged. A  chain  thirty  inches  long  was  securely  locked 
about  their  necks.  A  Mexican  dagger  (a  two-edged  knife 
six  inches  long)  was  given  to  each  of  the  duellists.  The 
obliging  cowboys  then  lowered  the  men  into  a  dog-canon, 
a  descent  of  seventy-five  feet.  There  they  were  to  remain 
until  one  killed  the  other.  A  key  to  the  lock  was  given  to 
each,  and  no  one  was  allowed  to  interfere  further.  The  rest 
of  the  cowboys  then  went  to  work,  as  if  nothing  unusual  had 
occurred.  For  some  days  nothing  was  known  as  to  the  re- 
sult of  the  encounter.  Yesterday,  however,  Davis,  weak  and 
emaciated,  returned  to  camp,  dragging  after  him  the  lifeless 
body  of  Jesus  Garcia.  The  story  Mr.  Davis  tells  is  as 
follows :  "  The  fight  began  as  soon  as  we  reached  the 
bottom  of  the  canon.  Being  locked  together,  each  was 
always  within  reach  of  the  other's  knife.  After  such  delib- 
eration as  the  few  moments  during  our  descent  permitted,  I 
decided  that  unless  the  first  blow  was  fatal  the  chances  were 
decidedly  in  favor  of  the  party  assailed.  I  accordingly 
allowed  the  Mexican  to  strike  the  first  blow.  He  plunged 
his  knife  into  my  side.  As  soon  as  I  found  his  arm  thus 
stretched  forward  I  cut  the  muscles  of  his  right  arm  near 
the  shoulder.  Immediately  his  knife  dropped.  While  he 
was  stooping  to  pick  up  his  knife  I  sent  myblade  into  his 
body  from  the  back.  Before  I  could  strike  again  he  had 
picked  up  his  knife  and  cut  the  cords  of  my  arms,  so  as  to 
render  them  both  useless.  Here  we  both  stood  for  a  few 
seconds,  when  I  discovered  that  his  heart  had  been  reached. 


92  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

His  body  soon  fell  in  the  death-struggle  to  the  ground. 
•  The  chain  was  so  short  that  he  brought  me  down  with  him. 
In  a  few  minutes  he  was  dead.  I  was  so  weak  from  loss  of 
blood  that  I  lay  down  by  his  side.  We  lay  there  for  five 
days  and  nights,  until  hunger  drove  me  to  make  a  last 
effort.  I  climbed  the  steep  incline  of  the  walls  of  the 
canon  and  reached  the  camp,  carrying  Garcia  on  my  back." 

A  correspondent  of  the  New  York  Times,  writing 
from  Silver  City  (N.  M.)  in  January,  1883,  presents 
an  interesting  account  of  the  characteristics  of  a 
number  of  these  romantic  fellows  of  the  West,  whose 
names  are  as  familiar  as  household  words  along  the 
Southwestern  frontier: 

"  'Tis  funny  how  whiskey  scrapes  a  man's  throat  when  he 
is  not  used  to  it."  The  man  who  used  this  expression  is  a 
character.  The  lines  which  here  introduce  him  give  his 
pet  phrase  when  recovering  from  a  spree.  His  throat  was 
doubtless  too  familiar  with  bad  liquor  to  be  disturbed  with 
anything  less  than  a  currycomb.  He  was  standing  leaning 
against  the  counter  of  a  bar  room  in  Silver  City,  as  he  made 
the  above-quoted  remark.  It  was  a  typical  frontier  saloon, 
and  it  was  filled  with  strange  characters.  Here  were  two 
Indians  sitting*  on  a  bench,  a  couple  of  drunken  freighters 
leaning  against  the  wall,  "two  regular"  soldiers  half  drunk, 
two  or  three  hunting-dogs,  several  Winchester  rifles,  a  pile 
of  Indian  trinkets,  and  a  half-wagon-load  of  specimens  of 
silver  ore.  A  board  covered  with  a  little  red  calico  and  a 
half-dozen  bottles  stood  for  the  bar.  Curly  Bill  was  a  hard 
man,  and  as  he  stood  taking  his  whiskey  in  this  rude  bar- 
room he  was  a  perfect  specimen  of  a  rustler.  His  rude 
make-up  of  rough  pants  stuck  in  his  boots,  blue  shirt,  red 
necktie,  and  sombrero  added  to  a  not  over-good  counte- 
nance much  that  was  picturesque.  He  had  a  knife  in  his 
boot,  two  six-shooters  about  his  waist,  and  was  ready  for  a 
frolic  of  any  kind  even  at  the  risk  of  his  life.  He  was  a 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  93 

desperado  of  the  dangerous  sort,  and  had  killed  many  a 
man.  The  boys  gave  him  credit  for  having  stocked  a  pri- 
vate graveyard,  and  he  was  consequently  a  hero.  The 
drink  was  hardly  down  when  Curly  Bill  whipped  out  his 
revolver,  and,  for  amusement,  shot  a  hole  through  the  top 
of  one  of  the  freighters'  hats.  They  then  got  to  bantering 
each  other  about  their  skill  as  marksmen,  and,  walking  out 
into  the  yard,  they  went  to  shooting  silver  half-dollars  out 
of  each  others'  fingers  at  twenty  paces.  Curly  Bill  soon 
tired  of  this  monotonous  excitement,  and  asked  one  of  the 
soldiers  to  hold  up  a  silver  piece.  The  soldier  agreed,  and 
twice  he  sent  his  bullet  against  the  coin,  but  the  third  time, 
for  pure  devilment,  he  shot  the  fellow's  front  finger  off. 
When  the  soldier  growled  about  the  miss,  Curly  Bill's  re- 
sponse was :  "  Oh,  I  thought  you  had  been  a  soldier  long 
enough."  This  ended  this  quiet  sport  for  the  day.  The 
men  walked  back  into  the  saloon,  and  I  walked  up  to  the 
further  end  of  town.  A  few  moments  afterward  a  cry  of 
fire  was  raised,  and  the  place  where  Curly  Bill  and  his 
companions  were,  soon  burned  to  the  ground.  While  the 
building  was  burning  the  clatter  of  horse's  feet  was  heard, 
and  Bill  and  his  companions  came  riding  up  the  street  at  a 
rattling  pace,  and  the  landlord  with  them.  They  stopped 
at  another  favorite  bar-room,  and  the  landlord  who  had 
been  burned  out  said,  "  That  Curly  Bill  got  to  shooting  at 
the  lamp  and  hit  her  a  little  two  low  and  it  exploded. 
He  will  pay  the  damage,  though."  Drinks  were  ordered 
for  all  the  motley  crowd  in  the  bar-room,  and  they  went  to 
playing  Spanish  monte,  the  favorite  game  in  the  rude  West. 
A  few  days  after  this  Curly  Bill  barely  escaped  hanging  for 
horse-stealing,  and  left  for  parts  unknown.  To-day  there 
is  a  price  upon  his  head  in  almost  every  Territory.  He  has 
been  reported  as  dead  half  a  dozen  times,  but  he  turns  up 
in  unexpected  places  to  vex  every  community  he  strikes. 
Where  he  came  from  and  who  he  was  before  he  became  a 
desperado  no  one  knows.  But  he  seemed  to  have  had  a 
fair  early  training,  and  to  have  drifted  into  this  wild  life 
from  a  taste  for  adventure.  "  Oh,  hush  !"  shouted  a  long, 


94  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

lank  fellow,  as  he  jumped  upon  a  table  filled  with  rough 
men.  The  cause  of  his  joy  was  the  words  of  the  dealer  of 
the  keno-bank,  calling  the  number  that  made  him  winner  of 
the  pot.  "  I  am  a  hard  man  from  Bitter  Creek,  I  eats  b'ar- 
meat,  weigh  4000  pounds,  smells  like  a  wolf,  and  the  whiz  of 
bullets  is  music  in  my  year,"  yelled  the  fellow,  as  he  threw 
his  sombrero  off  from  his  villainous-looking  countenance. 
One  of  the  men  who  had  been  less  fortunate  at  the  game 
hit  him  a  blow  under  the  ear  just  as  he  finished  speaking, 
and  he  fell  like  an  ox.  He  picked  himself  up,  looked 
quietly  around  the  place,  and  then  said,  "  Well,  this  is  the 
most  sociable  community  I  ever  struck.  Come  on,  boys, 
let's  liquor."  It  cost  him  five  dollars  to  treat,  but  the  ex- 
perience he  got  was  worth  it.  These  two  characters  repre- 
sent the  two  different  classes  of  men  you  find  on  the  border. 
The  man  who  shouted  when  he  won  the  pot  at  the  keno- 
bank  was  a  braggart.  He  would  boast  of  his  great  exploits, 
of  the  horses  he  had  stolen  and  of  the  men  he  had  killed, 
and  would  swagger  around  with  an  air  that  would  scare  any 
one  but  a  brave  man.  But  when  he  met  a  fighter  he  always 
wilted.  He  and  Curly  Bill  are  fair  representatives  of  the 
two  classes  of  hard  characters  you  find  on  the  border. 
They  all  wear  the  broad-brimmed  hats,  dress  alike,  and 
have  similar  ambitions.  Their  open,  reckless  life  gives 
them  good  health  ;  desperate  dissipation  and  their  animal 
spirits  often  run  away  with  their  sense. 

Among  these  desperadoes  whom  you  discover  under  the 
broad  sombrero  the  Spanish  first  introduced  into  the  south- 
western territory  you  find  many  peculiar  characters — men 
who  have  been  raised  well  and  have  had  great  opportunities, 
but  who  grew  up  to  a  wild  life,  and  took  their  lessons  of 
equity,  justice,  and  humanity  from  association  with  the  Texas 
steer.  Russian  Bill  was  a  type  of  the  better  class,  but  in 
heart  and  impulse  he  was  like  the  last  man  I  introduced. 
He  was  highly  educated,  and  spoke  and  wrote  six  languages. 
He  was  a  "  blower,"  who  had  committed  many  crimes  in  his 
mind.  But  Curly  Bill  and  the  brave  men  along  the  frontier 
never  gave  him  credit  for  any  exploits  except  with  his 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  95 

tongue.  He  bragged  so  much,  however,  about  his  desperate 
deeds  that  one  night,  while  under  arrest  for  some  petty 
offence,  a  vigilance-committee  took  him  at  his  estimate  of 
himself  and  sent  him  to  his  final  account  by  what  the  fron- 
tierman  call  "  grape-vine  route."  He  died  like  a  coward, 
and  the  people  believe  that  he  was  never  a  very  bad  man. 
Sandy  King  was  another  desperate  character.  He  was 
raised  in  Western  New  York,  and  had  a  good  family.  He 
came  West  to  make  his  fortune,  and,  being  an  adventurous 
spirit,  drifted  in  with  the  cowboys  and  became  a  leader  in 
their  crimes.  Like  all  the  rest  of  these  characters,  he  was 
an  open-hearted,  free-handed  fellow,  and  has  many  a  kind 
act  set  down  to  his  credit  among  the  people  of  Grant  County 
(N.  M.).  He  was  a  companion  of  Curly  Bill,  and  had  shared 
with  him  the  bounty  and  hazards  of  many  a  desperate  game. 
He  was  very  well  educated,  and  was  capable  of  much  better 
things.  The  night  the  vigilantes  hung  Russian  Bill  they 
performed  the  same  office  for  Sandy  King.  He  died  game. 
When  he  found  that  death  was  inevitable,  he  called  to  the 
lynchers,  "  Boys,  give  me  a  drink ;  it  will  help  me  on  the 
road  to  hell.  I  reckon  this  game  you  are  playing  is  all  right. 
I  have  got  even  with  many  of  your  kind  while  I've  lived,  and 
I  don't  know  why  I  ought  to  squeal  when  you've  nipped  me." 
The  nonchalance  with  which  he  looked  upon  death  nearly 
captured  the  crowd.  But  they  finally  concluded  to  send  him 
aloft.  They  gave  him  another  drink,  and  when  he  had  fin- 
ished it  he  straightened  himself  up  and  said,  "Now, boys, I'm 
ready  for  the  devil  to  get  his  own."  How  many  of  these 
strange  things  to  civilized  people  I  heard  and  saw  during  a 
stay  of  a  few  months  on  the  southwestern  frontier  !  A  vol- 
ume could  be  filled  with  interesting  reminiscences,  good  and 
bad,  of  these  strange  people,  whose  lives  have  been  bent 
from  good  to  bad  by  their  surroundings  and  the  cravings  for 
the  adventures  of  chance.  All  men  who  wear  the  broad- 
brimmed  hat  are  by  no  means  bad.  They  are  rude,  rough, 
and  uncouth,  but  in  most  cases  brave,  generous,  and  honest, 
as  the  world  goes.  You  rarely  get  into  trouble  with  any  of 
them,  unless  you  seek  it,  and  you  will  meet  lots  of  people 


go  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

who  pass  for  respectable  that  have  a  worse  record  than  even 
the  characters  I  have  described. 

Another  newspaper-writer  has  this  to  say  of  Rus- 
sian Bill: 

His  looks  would  have  attracted  attention  anywhere,  but 
dressed  in  the  fancy  cowboy  garb  he  was  particularly  notice- 
able. His  clear-cut  features,  long,  drooping  mustache,  and 
curly  blond  hair,  which  fell  in  curls  on  his  shoulders,  made 
Russian  Bill  an  object  of  special  interest  to  strangers. 
Three  years  ago,  when  the  writer  first  saw  him,  Russian 
Bill  was  known  through  southwestern  New  Mexico  as  one  of 
the  San  Simon  "rustlers,"  a  gang  of  thirty  or  forty  outlaws 
that  made  periodical  raids  through  western  Arizona,  north- 
ern Mexico,  and  southern  New  Mexico,  stealing  cattle  and 
horses  and  driving  them  to  the  San  Simon  Valley,  where 
they  were  kept  until  an  opportunity  offered  itself  to  dispose 
of  them.  Russian  Bill  was  a  man  of  good  education ;  he 
spoke  five  or  six  languages  fluently,  and  delighted  when- 
ever opportunity  offered  in  discussing  literature,  science,  or 
art.  Of  his  past  nothing  was  known,  save  that  he  was  from 
Russia.  His  reputation  was  not  that  of  a  "bad  man,"  but 
of  being  a  braggart  whose  heart  was  really  kind  and  whose 
courage  was  doubtful.  About  two  years  ago  the  residents 
of  Shakespeare  (N.  M.)  resolved  to  free  themselves  from 
the  rough  element  that  had  for  a  long  time  ruled  that  place. 
The  next  morning  twelve  men  were  asked  to  leave,  and 
when  Russian  Bill  arrived  in  town  a  couple  of  days  later, 
accompanied  by  another  rustler  named  Sandy  King,  the 
citizens  decided  that  the  two  men  should  die  as  an  example 
to  their  companions  in  crime.  Accordingly,  at  about  mid- 
night, a  dozen  men  entered  the  room  of  the  Stratford  Hotel, 
occupied  by  the  rustlers.  Before  Sandy  King  and  Russian 
Bill  could  offer  any  resistance  they  were  tied  securely,  ropes 
were  thrown  over  the  beam  above  their  beds,  and  they  were 
pulled  up  and  left  hanging,  until  they  were  dead.  The  next 
morning  a  coroner's  jury  held  an  inquest  and  brought  in  a 
verdict  that  the  men  committed  suicide  by  hanging.  A 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  97 

short  time  ago  the  sheriff  of  Grant  County  (N.  M.)  received 
a  letter  from  the  American  consul  at  St.  Petersburg,  saying 
that  the  Countess  Telfuin  was  very  anxious  to  learn  the 
whereabouts  of  her  son,  who  had  been  banished  for  political 
reasons,  but  who  possessed  large  estates.  The  letter  enclosed 
a  photograph  of  Russian  Bill.  Word  was  sent  that  the 
Count  had  committed  suicide  at  Shakespeare  two  years 
ago,  and  the  true  facts  were  kept  from  the  knowledge  of 
his  mother. 

A  letter  from  Flagstaff  (A.  T.)  to  the  New  York 
Tribune  of  September  9,  1883,  presents  a  felicitous 
pen-portrait  of  Poker  Bill,  who,  it  will  be  seen,  col- 
lapsed in  the  presence  of  the  average  railway  "  bag- 
gage-smasher" of  the  West : 

Poker  Bill  is  not  a  John  Oakhurst,  although  he  is  a  pro- 
fessional gambler.  In  fact,  my  experience  goes  to  show  that 
gentlemen  of  John  Oakhurst's  type  are  extremely  rare  on 
the  frontier.  Poker  Bill  may  have  been  endowed  with  an 
equally  exalted  spirit,  but  I  regret  to  state  that  during  my 
stay  here  he  has  been  rudely  buffetted  by  fortune.  His  place 
of  business  is  in  one  of  the  dozen  rude  log-huts  burrowed 
into  the  hillside  and  shaded  by  the  pines.  Thence  Poker 
Bill  emerged  the  other  morning,  wearing  a  grim  and  trucu- 
lent aspect,  and  started  rapidly  down  the  so-called  street. 
The  loungers,  who  sit  all  day  beneath  the  deer's  head  nailed 
to  the  front  of  the  chief  store,  roused  themselves  from  their 
patient  waiting  for  somebody  to  "  set  up  the  pizen,"  and 
originated  the  proposition  that  "somethin's  up."  For  once 
they  unwittingly  told  the  truth.  Poker  Bill  took  his  way 
down  the  track  to  the  depot — a  term  applied  to  a  freight-car 
fitted  up  as  an  office.  Presently  he  returned  to  his  cabin, 
and  when  he  reappeared  his  six-shooter  was  belted  to  his 
side.  The  loungers  became  visibly  animated.  When  Poker 
Bill  was  seen  to  be  bound  for  the  depot  again,  an  air  of 
cheerful  expectancy  pervaded  the  group.  It  was  felt  proper 
that  either  the  justice  of  the  peace  or  the  storekeeper,  who 


98  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

were  sitting  on  barrels  near  the  bar,  should  invite  the  crowd 
to  "  irrigate"  in  view  of  the  stirring  times  which  had  so 
suddenly  come  upon  them.  Meantime  Poker  Bill  had  been 
stopped  and  questioned  by  a  friend,  who  carelessly  drawled 
in  parting,  "That  thar  station-agent's  a  bad  man."  But 
Poker  Bill  would  not  be  deterred.  His  beady  eyes  glittered 
wickedly  and  his  hand  softly  caressed  the  handle  of  his 
revolver.  When  he  disappeared  into  the  depot  he  looked 
the  dime-novel  picture  of  a  bloodthirsty  and  invincible 
desperado.  Among  the  loungers  it  was  whispered  that  a 
dispute  had  arisen  between  Bill  and  the  station-agent  re- 
garding the  payment  of  charges  on  an  express  bundle.  A 
few  bets  were  quietly  made  on  the  question  whether  the 
station-agent  would  be  killed  or  maimed.  The  justice  of 
the  peace,  although  fully  alive  to  the  interest  of  the  occa- 
sion, recollected  business  elsewhere,  for  he  had  no  desire  to 
enter  into  a  relation  unpleasantly  antagonistic  to  Poker  Bill. 
Suddenly  all  the  patient  waiters  leaped  to  their  feet,  al- 
though there  had  been  no  sound  of  shots.  Such  a  sight  as 
they  beheld  had  never  been  seen  since  Antelope  Spring  was 
known  to  the  white  man.  Out  from  the  door  of  the  station- 
agent's  car,  plunging  headlong  to  the  ground,  came  Poker 
Bill,  propelled  by  a  terrific  kick.  He  was  without  his  "  six- 
shooter,"  his  waistcoat  had  been  torn  off,  and  his  remaining 
clothing  had  collected  most  of  the  dust  from  the  car-floor. 
He  gathered  himself  up,  dodged  under  the  car  and  ran  up 
toward  the  town,  shielding  his  head  with  his  arms  and  evi- 
dently expecting  to  be  followed  by  a  bullet.  There  was  no 
need  of  explanations.  "What  did  yer  do  with  yer  gun, 
Bill?"  asked  one  of  the  no-longer-respectful  crowd  as  he 
passed.  "  I  left  it,"  snarled  Bill ;  and  the  point  was  not 
pressed,  as  Bill  was  known  to  possess  other  weapons.  He 
equipped  the  justice  and  two  others  with  shot-guns  and 
rifles.  Thus  heavily  loaded,  the  force  moved  upon  the  car 
and  demanded  the  return  of  Bill's  gun  and  waistcoat.  Hav- 
ing obtained  these  articles,  accompanied  by  much  satirical 
language  from  the  agent,  Bill  retired  to  his  cabin.  From  its 
door  throughout  the  day  issued  a  mighty  stream  of  highly 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  99 

flavored  and  picturesquely  embellished  profanity.  Poker 
Bill's  sun  had  set  and  his  enemies  had  seen  his  fall.  Never- 
theless the  great  sawmill  in  the  opening  across  the  track 
buzzed  on  as  usual.  The  cool  wind  swept  down  from  the 
mountains  through  the  pines,  but  Poker  Bill  cursed  him- 
self with  exceeding  bitterness  because  he  had  failed  to  add 
a  fifteenth  grave  to  the  little  "  Boot-Hill  Cemetery,"  near  the 
corral,  where  eleven  out  of  the  fourteen  dead  came  to  their 
deaths  by  violence.  For  the  route  of  the  new  road  which 
has  opened  northern  Arizona  has,  like  the  course  of  every 
Western  railroad,  been  stained  again  and  again  with  blood. 
Back  at  Coolidge,  five  desperadoes  held  the  town  in  terror 
some  two  years  since,  until  a  brief  but  stirring  conflict  left 
three  ruffians  dead,  one  dying  and  two  citizens  pierced  with 
balls.  Here  at  Flagstaff,  in  the  heart  of  the  great  pine- 
forests,  the  camps  of  wood-choppers  and  tie-cutters  offered 
a  ready  asylum  to  thugs  and  outlaws.  Every  new  railroad 
in  the  far  West  has  been  full  of  cost  to  human  life.  First 
come  the  engineers,  daring  the  perils  of  Indians  and  the 
wilderness.  Then  follow  the  gangs  of  "  navvies,"  who  build 
the  dump  and  lay  the  ties  and  rails ;  a  rough,  wild  set,  the 
refuse  of  the  cities.  With  them  come  swarms  of  blood- 
suckers, gamblers,  thieves,  and  keepers  of  dance-halls,  care- 
less whether  they  win  a  man's  money  by  a  rigged  faro-bank, 
or  "  hold  him  up,"  or  shoot  him  in  the  back  on  a  dark  night. 
No  one  knows  their  origin.  They  disappear  on  the  comple- 
tion of  the  railroad,  and  no  one  knows  where  they  go.  They 
leave  a  few  graves  behind  them,  and  these  deep  woods  are 
shadowed  by  many  an  unknown  tragedy.  Life  at  the  head 
of  a  railroad  is  like  life  nowhere  else.  The  laborers  are  a 
source  of  profit  to  every  one  except  themselves.  They  eat 
and  sleep  in  long  trains  of  freight-cars;  and  their  eating  and 
sleeping  fill  the  pockets  of  some  contractor.  They  build  the 
road  and  receive  their  wages,  and  the  wages  are  promptly 
transferred  to  the  keeper  of  the  gambling-tent,  groggery,  or 
dance -hall.  Finally  they  are  discharged.  They  return 
cooped  up  like  cattle  in  freight-cars,  they  make  for  the 
mining-camps,  or,  provided  with  a  "tie-pass,"  they  pack 


100  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

their  blankets  on  their  backs  and  set  out  on  the  tramp  along 
the  track.  The  best  of  them  are  kept  for  the  section-gangs ; 
the  others  vanish  utterly  away.  With  their  departure  and 
that  of  their  attendant  evil  spirits  a  calm  succeeds  the 
storm.  The  stranded  gambler  talks  mournfully  of  "the 
lively  times  when  the  road  was  here;"  but  the  Eastern 
visitor  possesses  his  soul  in  peace  and  no  longer  fears  to  be 
"  held  up"  in  the  street. 

Not  long  ago  a  cowboy  who  had  murdered  a  man 
in  a  New  Mexican  town,  and  was  pursued  for  a  day 
by  the  Sheriff,  returned  to  the  scene  of  his  crime  and 
compelled  the  Sheriff  to  go  in  his  company  to  all  the 
saloons  in  town,  and  treat  him  to  the  drinks,  and 
after  the  rounds  were  made,  he  mounted  his  horse 
and  rode  off  in  safety.  What  came  of  trifling  with 
some  cowboys  in  Wyoming,  is  thus  felicitously  told 
by  the  editor  of  the  Laramie  Boomerang: 

Ben  Carter  had  "  heaps  of  fun,"  as  he  expresses  it,  at  Rock 
Creek,  west  of  Laramie,  the  othe^  day.  Ben  is  a  typical 
Western  cowboy — a  whole-souled,  dare-devil  puncher  of 
steers  ;  a  fellow  who  will  divide  his  last  dollar  with  a  friend, 
or  ride  anything  that  has  not  more  than  four  legs  and  wears 
a  saddle.  Ben  has  one  weak  point,  however,  a  fondness  for 
the  sulphuric  acid  annihilator  which  Wyoming  barkeepers 
retail  as  whiskey,  and  when  he  is  "  full"  he  is  windy  and 
ready  for  any  harmless  mischief.  On  the  day  referred  to 
Ben  was  at  Rock  Creek  loading  stock.  A  dozen  or  more 
,of  his  brother-cowboys  were  in  town,  and  after  the 
arduous  duties  incident  to  crowding  twenty  more  steers 
into  a  car  than  the  builders  intended  were  over,  the  boys 
began  to  "  booze  up,"  and  by  the  time  it  got  dark  enough 
to  light  the  lamps  the  saloon-keeper  found  that  he  hadn't 
any  that  were  fit  to  do  duty  as  illuminators — the  boys 
had  shot  them  to  pieces.  Every  time  a  lamp  would  fall 
the  marksman,  who  assisted  at  the  post-mortem  of  said 
lamp,  would  cheerfully  waltz  to  the  bar  and  pay  for  it,  and 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  IOI 

then  try  again.  The  lamp  market  was  active  for  a  few 
minutes,  but  the  supply  was  limited.  Ben  hadn't  taken  a 
hand  in  the  shooting-match  as  yet,  but  had  made  it  a  point 
to  drink  with  the  successful  marksmen,  so  that,  strictly 
speaking,  he  wasn't  sober.  Finally,  he  awoke  to  action. 
Seizing  a  revolver  from  a  companion  and  drawing  his  own, 
he  sprang  to  the  centre  of  the  room  and  delivered  him- 
self of  a  speech.  He  told  the  boys  that  they  ought  to  be 
ashamed  of  themselves.  He  was  a  perfect  lady  himself,  and 
it  shocked  him  to  witness  such  disgraceful  proceedings.  He 
had  been  appointed  as  a  Deputy  Sheriff  on  his  last  visit  to 
Laramie,  and  had  decided  to  arrest  every  mother's  son  of 
them.  The  boys  protested  against  such  a  strange  procedure, 
but  Ben  flourished  his  guns,  told  them  he  had  the  whole 
United  States  at  his  back,  and  imperiously  ordered  them 
into  an  empty  warehouse  near,  the  door  of  which  stood 
open.  The  novelty  of  the  thing  somewhat  muddled  the 
boys,  and  without  a  word  they  filed  into  the  temporary 
prison,  and  Ben  closed  the  door.  He  then  rustled  around 
and  found  several  log  chains,  with  which  he  securely  fas- 
tened them,  and,  with  the  dignity  of  a  high  private  in  a  State 
militia  corps,  mounted  guard  on  the  outside.  The  boys  ven- 
tilated their  prison  cell  as  well  as  they  could  with  what  am- 
munition they  had,  and  then  dropped  off  to  sleep.  In  the 
morning  Ben  released  them,  after  exacting  a  solemn  promise 
to  Behave  themselves  like  gentlemen  and  ladies  thereafter. 
The  boys  walked  over  to  the  hotel  as  meek  as  lambs.  While 
eating  their  breakfast  they  noticed  that  an  unusual  amount 
of  hilarity  seemed  to  prevail  in  the  dining-room.  The  head 
and  only  waiter  laughed  boisterously  while  serving  the  soup ; 
the  cook  poked  his  head  through  the  doorway  leading  to 
the  kitchen,  and  drew  it  back  again  quickly,  and  a  series 
of  Comanche  war-whoops  that  were  positively  painful  to 
their  listening  ears,  gradually  subsiding  into  a  low,  mellow 
laugh  which  made  the  plates  on  the  tables  jingle,  followed. 
Sounds  of  mirth  also  floated  in  from  the  office,  until  finally 
one  of  the  boys  went  out  to  inquire  the  cause.  He  came 
back  presently,  and  the  most  ignorant  judge  of  the  emotions 


102  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

•as  shown  oy  the  human  features  could  have  told  that  he  was 
unutterably  mad.  He  consulted  a  moment  with  his  compan- 
ions, and  then  called  the  waiter  and  ordered  a  box  of  "  forty- 
fours."  These  were  served  cold,  and  the  command  loaded 
their  weapons  and  marched  down  to  the  saloon,  where  they 
found  Ben  Carter.  The  spokesman,  Broncho  Bill,  then  and 
there  told  Ben  that  he  was  no  gentleman.  He  had  taken 
advantage  of  his  friends,  and  made  them  the  laughing  stock 
of  the  community.  He  had  pretended  that  he  was  the  au- 
thorized Deputy  Sheriff,  when  he  had  no  more  claim  to  the 
title  of  Deputy  Sheriff  than  Ben  Butler  had  to  the  spoons 
history  says  he  hypothecated.  Believing  that  he  repre- 
sented the  majesty  of  the  law,  they  had  given  him  the 
respect  he  deserved.  He  had  insulted  them  by  putting  them 
in  the  "  jug"  over  night,  and  they  could  only  wipe  out  that 
insult  by  creating  a  vacancy  in  the  atmosphere  thereabouts 
of  about  the  size  of  his  body.  He  must  go,  and  go  quick. 
Ben  is  brave  enough,  but  after  he  had  looked  over  the 
crowd,  and  saw  that  each  man  had  his  hand  on  his  per- 
suader, he  concluded  that  perhaps  Broncho  Bill  was  right. 
He  got :  and  when  he  had  put  several  hundred  yards  of 
sagebrush  and  sand  between  himself  and  the  station,  the 
boys,  having  no  further  use  of  "forty- fours,"  emptied  their 
revolvers.  From  the  agile  manner  in  which  Ben  was  danc- 
ing around  as  he  passed  swiftly  over  the  brow  of  the  hill 
toward  Laramie,  and  the  amount  of  dust  rising  in  little 
clouds  all  around  him,  it  is  believed  the  boys  carelessly 
pointed  their  weapons  his  way  while  taking  the  loads  out. 

What  has  been  termed  the  cowboy-fight — or  a  not 
dissimilar  mode  of  combat — raged  in  California  from 
1849  to  1860,  at  least  in  the  mining  communities  of 
the  Golden  State;  and  it  has  also  been  more  or  less 
indulged  in  throughout  the  Pacific  States  and  Terri- 
tories in  sections  where  mining  operations  have  been 
extensively  carried  on.  The  street,  or  bar-room,  duel 
flourished  among  members  of  the  gambling  fra- 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  1 03 

ternity  in  California  for  ten  or  twelve  years,  and  the 
whizz  of  the  deadly  bullet  was  oftener  heard  in  those 
days  than  are  even  the  church  bells  of  the  present. 
The  southern  counties  of  California,  where  for  thirty 
years  there  existed  an  almost  unceasing  strife  among 
hordes  of  disorderly  characters,  but  where  there  is  so 
much  perfect  harmony  and  contentment  now — also 
contributed  much  toward  a  Golgotha  over  which 
"  Resurgam"  can  never  be  truthfully  written. 

It  was  no  uncommon  thing  in  California  (as  well 
as  in  other  Western  States),  during  its  early  days,  for 
the  real  gentleman  and  the  riot-loving  desperado  to 
come  together;  and  it  is  a  prominent  fact  in  the  an- 
nals of  such  events  that,  in  a  majority  of  cases,  the 
former  was  never  known  (or  seldom  the  first)  "to 
weaken."  A  description  of  the  bar-room  duel  be- 
tween Hicks  Graham  and  Yank  Maguire,  as  fur- 
nished the  San  Francisco  (Cal.)  Morning  Call  by  a 
correspondent  in  August,  1883,  is  as  interesting  as 
any  and  much  more  thrilling  and  dramatic  than  many 
similar  encounters: 

Graham,  a  backwoods  disciple  of  Blackstone,  was  practis- 
ing law  at  Montgomery  at  the  time.  Yank  Maguire  came 
down  from  Aurora,  where  he  enjoyed  the  reputation  of  a 
desperado.  He  was  a  big,  savage  fellow,  coarse  and  over- 
bearing in  his  manners,  the  very  opposite  of  Hicks  Graham, 
who  was  below  the  medium  size,  delicate,  and  gentlemanly. 
From  the  first  the  two  men  seemed  to  hate  each  other. 
There  was  a  natural  antipathy  between  them.  Instinct 
taught  each  to  see  in  the  other  a  deadly  and  dangerous  ene- 
my. The  little  town  just  naturally  knew,  before  Yank  Ma- 
guire had  been  forty-eight  hours  within  its  limits,  that 
trouble  was  brewing  between  the  two  men.  They  had  met 
at  Aurora  a  short  time  before  the  discovery  of  rich  silver 
rock  in  Montgomery  district,  and  came  near  having  a  diffi- 


104  THE   FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

culty  there.  The  fact  appeared  to  be  that  Maguire,  who  was 
crazy  to  be  thought  a  fighter,  was  insanely  jealous  of  Gra- 
ham's well-established  reputation  in  that  respect.  The  first 
night  of  his  advent  into  the  new  camp  he  got  on  a  jamboree, 
flourished  his  revolver,  and  swore  that  no  man  who  wore  a 
"  biled  shirt "  and  a  "  plug  hat "  could  make  him  take  water. 
As  Hicks  was  almost  the  only  one  in  camp  who  sported 
such  evidences  of  civilization  as  a  white  shirt  and  a  silk  hat, 
of  course  we  all  knew  that  Yank  meant  him.  But  he  only 
smiled  at  the  riotous  demonstrations  of  the  big  rough,  and 
quietly  walked  off  and  went  to  bed.  From  that  hour,  how- 
ever, the  town  felt  that  something  serious  was  going  to  hap- 
pen. Strangely  enough,  in  a  place  where  shooting  scrapes 
were  of  daily  occurrence,  Montgomery  got  excited  over  the 
prospective  quarrel  between  Hicks  Graham  and  Yank  Ma- 
guire. The  death-dealing  merits  of  the  men  were  discussed 
very  freely,  and  money  was  wagered  on  the  final  results. 
Notwithstanding  Maguire 's  size  and  blood-thirsty  talk,  Gra- 
ham was  the  popular  favorite.  The  little  fellow  had  won 
his  spurs  in  many  a  hard-fought  scrimmage,  and  most  of  the 
miners  were  ready  to  bet  that  he  would  kill  his  opponent  or 
drive  him  out  of  camp.  Montgomery  had,  among  its  cos- 
mopolitan population  in  those  days,  quite  a  sprinkling  of 
Southerners,  who  believed  that  the  right  way  for  gentlemen 
to  settle  their  personal  troubles  was  "according  to  the 
code."  Street  fights  and  bar-room  encounters  were  good 
enough  in  their  way,  but  the  proper  thing  was  a  duel  ac- 
cording to  the  code  of  honor.  Aurora  bore  testimony  to 
their  handiwork  in  this  respect.  Time  and  again  had  her 
high-toned  and  pugnacious  citizens,  governed  by  the  true 
spirit  of  chivalry,  gone  out  and  shot  each  other  in  the  most 
approved  fashion.  Why  not  arrange  a  regular  "affair"  be- 
tween Maguire  and  Graham  ?  The  latter  was  a  Pennsylvan- 
fan,  it  is  true,  but  in  love  for  the  code  duello  he  could  not  be 
excelled  by  the  most  ardent  native  of  the  "Sunny  South." 
With  him  there  could  be  no  trouble,  and  he  at  once  cheer- 
fully acquiesced  in  the  proposal  of  his  chevalier  friends  to 
avoid  the  vulgar  barbarity  of  a  street  affray  or  a  saloon  ren- 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  10$ 

centre.  Maguire,  however,  did  not  take  to  the  thing  kindly, 
so  it  was  said,  and  gave  his  officious  interviewers  such  a 
stormy  reception  as  came  near  starting  a  riot  in  the  camp. 
For  this  reason,  to  the  sincere  regret  of  not  a  few,  the  pro- 
posed duel  had  to  be  abandoned,  and  the  town  was  left  in  a 
feverish  condition  of  expectation,  impatiently  waiting  for  the 
fray.  Fortunately,  the  good  folks  of  Montgomery  had  not 
long  to  wait.  A  difficulty  among  some  miners  led  to  a  law- 
suit before  his  honor,  Judge  Caliph,  the  judicial  autocrat  of 
the  place,  and  Hicks  Graham  appeared  as  a  lawyer  for  one 
of  the  parties.  Happily,  or  unhappily,  as  the  fact  might  be 
viewed  from  different  standpoints,  Yank  Maguire  was  a  wit- 
ness against  the  side  represented  by  Graham,  and  when  this 
condition  of  affairs  became  generally  known  it  was  in  the 
air  that  the  time  had  come  for  one  or  both  to  "  pass  in  his 
checks,"  as  the  sports  phrased  it.  When  the  belligerent  wit- 
ness took  the  stand  all  eyes  were  turned  upon  him.  With 
an  angry  glance  at  Graham,  and  a  suggestive  hitch  at  his 
hip  pocket,  where  the  handle  of  a  big  six-shooter  could  be 
plainly  seen,  he  proceeded  with  his  testimony,  and  for  a  time 
got  along  smoothly  enough.  The  cross-examination,  how- 
ever, was  too  much  for  the  witness.  Repeatedly  he  was 
admonished  by  the  justice  to  answer  the  questions  and 
avoid  insulting  personalities.  Still  he  was  ugly,  coarse  and 
abusive,  and  indulged  in  a  vicious  sneer  when  Graham 
quietly  remarked  that  nothing  he  might  say  could  make  him 
forget  that  he  was  in  a  court  of  justice.  At  last,  losing  all 
patience,  and  finding  restraint  next  to  impossible,  Graham 
insisted  that  the  court  should  take  a  recess.  Immediately  on 
adjournment,  the  crowd  poured  into  the  "  Montgomery  Ex- 
change," directly  across  the  way,  and  filled  the  saloon  to  its 
utmost  capacity.  While  a  long  line  of  thirsty  souls  were 
standing  before  the  bar,  drinking  or  waiting  to  be  served,  a 
cry  of  "  Look  out !"  was  heard,  and  instantly  the  sharp  and 
loud  reports  of  two  pistols  scattered  the  crowd  in  all  direc- 
tions. Who  drew  first  none  could  say,  but  the  little  one 
evidently  got  in  the  first  shot,  for  Maguire  was  seen  to  stag- 
ger and  put  his  hand  to  his  breast.  He  did  not  flinch,  how- 


106  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

ever,  and  both  men  continued  to  fire  with  great  rapidity. 
At  this  critical  juncture,  something  was  noticed  to  be  wrong 
with  Graham's  pistol.  It  would  not  revolve,  and  in  working 
with  it,  the  chamber  fell  out  and  rolled  on  the  floor.  Again 
Maguire's  pistol  rang  out,  and  a  bullet-hole  through  his  an- 
tagonist's hat  showed  that  the  effect  of  the  first  shot  had 
not  destroyed  his  aim,  although  he  staggered  around  the 
room  like  a  drunken  man.  Coolly  stooping  down,  Graham 
picked  up  the  chamber  of  his  revolver,  deliberately  replaced 
it,  and  began  firing  again.  While  fixing  his  weapon  he  had 
got  into  a  corner  at  one  end  of  the  bar  or  counter,  and  Ma- 
guire  took  a  similar  position  at  the  other  end.  The  fire  now 
raked  the  counter  from  end  to  end,  to  the  danger  and  hor- 
ror of  a  number  of  spectators  who  had  taken  refuge  from 
the  flying  bullets  behind  the  bar  at  the  beginning  of  the 
fight.  With  every  crack  of  the  pistols  was  heard  the  wild 
cry  of  some  poor  devil  in  the  line  of  fire.  The  shriek  and 
fall  of  one  of  the  number,  a  quiet,  inoffensive  Dutchman 
who  had  nothing  to  do  with  the  affray,  put  an  end  to  the 
bloody  business.  The  proprietor  of  the  "  Exchange,"  now  a 
well-known  citizen  of  San  Francisco,  jumped  across  the 
counter  and  seized  Graham  with  an  iron  grip,  while  others 
caught  Maguire  and  wrenched  the  revolver  from  his  hands. 
The  result  of  the  shooting  was  the  death  of  the  unfortunate 
German,  shot  through  the  heart,  the  fearful  wounding  of 
Maguire,  who  was  sinking  fast  from  a  bullet  in  the  breast, 
and  a  slight  flesh  wound  received  by  Graham.  The  bar 
room  duel  over,  Montgomery  resumed  its  natural  condition. 
The  fight  was  eminently  satisfactory.  Both  men  were  game, 
but  the  little  one  had  come  out  on  top.  The  writer  knew 
Hicks  Graham  well  in  the  sage-brush  country ;  cabined  with 
him  and  shared  his  bed  and  board.  On  more  than  one  oc- 
casion, while  travelling  together  or  watching  the  stars  from 
under  the  same  blankets,  he  talked  over  exciting  scenes  in 
his  turbulent  life.  Few  men  ever  knew  how  thoroughly  he 
despised,  in  his  later  years,  the  reputation  of  a  fighting  man. 
Such  a  reputation,  he  would  bitterly  remark,  is  a  curse  to 
any  one.  Every  reckless  fool,  \vho  wants  to  get  his  name 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  IO/ 

up  as  a  desperado,  thinks  he  is  in  duty  bound  to  have  a  dif- 
ficulty with  you,  while  you  are  expected  to  resent  every 
grievance,  real  or  imaginary,  with  the  knife  or  pistol.  I  re- 
member with  what  earnestness  he  said,  more  than  once  :  "  If 
I  had  my  life  to  live  over  again,  nothing  short  of  absolute 
dishonor  would  make  me  fight  anybody !"  His  reflections 
on  the  past  were  evidently  not  of  a  pleasant  character,  and 
there  can  be  no  doubt  that  he  deeply  and  sincerely  regretted 
many  events  in  his  reckless  career.  It  was  really  singular 
how  so  quiet  and  gentlemanly  a  little  man  could  get  into  so 
many  ugly  scrapes.  Of  a  genial,  sociable  disposition,  warm 
in  his  attachments,  and  courteous  and  obliging  to  every- 
body, it  does  seem  strange  that  his  life  should  have  been  so 
bloody  and  desperate.  He  had  domestic  griefs  which 
weighed  upon  his  mind,  and,  like  many  another  gallant  fel- 
fow,  sought  forgetfulness  in  strong  drink.  Doubtless  this 
had  much  to  do  with  his  numerous  deadly  quarrels,  for  few 
men  were  more  quiet  and  inoffensive  when  sober.  Peace  to 
his  ashes !  After  life's  fitful  fever  may  he  sleep  well. 

During  the  Autumn  of  1852,  in  Los  Angeles  (Cal.), 
Colonel  (since  a  distinguished  General  in  the  Con- 
federate army,  and  now  deceased)  J.  Bankhead 
Magruder,  Third  Artillery  U.  S.  A.,  who  was  visiting 
that  city  fron  San  Diego,  commenced  an  evening  at 
Harry  Monroe's  restaurant,  in  company  with  three  or 
four  other  congenial  fellows,  by  ordering  a  cham- 
pagne dinner  of  an  elaborate  character.  It  was  not 
long  after  the  initial  movement  of  the  real  old  Duff 
Gordon  sherry  from  right  to  left  that  an  exhilaration 
set  in  which  was  rapidly  and  radiantly  heightened 
to  a  hilarious  pitch,  the  reader  may  rest  assured;  so 
that,  after  the  "  feast  of  reason  and  flow  of  soul "  had 
got  completely  under  way,  the  nocturnal  wayfarer 
might  have  misinterpreted  the  medley  of  mirthful 
vociferations  for  sounds  of  revelry  second  only  to 


108  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

those  attributed  to  the  beauty  and  chivalry  of  Belgi- 
um's capital  upon  a  momentous  occasion  by  the 
author  of  "  Childe  Harold's  Pilgrimage."  In  other 
words,  ?an  uproarious  controversy  had  quickly  fol- 
lowed the  ample  gastronomic  discussion,  during 
which  Magruder  declared,  with  his  characteristic 
suavity,  that  Andrew  Jackson  was  "  the  greatest  man 
who  ever  trod  in  shoe  leather."  Colonel  John  O. 
Wheeler  tossed  off  a  goblet  of  Krug  to  "  the  greatest 
American  statesman,  Henry  Clay;"  while  Thompson 
Burrill  quaffed  placidly  away  to  the  memory  of 
'•  Daniel  Webster,  the  greatest  man  the  world  ever 
produced."  A  certain  disciple  of  Esculapius,  who 
was  present,  then  arose,  as  ostentatiously  as  it  was 
possible  for  him  to  rise,  under  the  circumstances,  and 
said:  "My  father,  who  was  Sheriff  of  Cayuga  County 
(N.  Y.),  was  the  greatest  of  all  Americans  !"  To 
which  Magruder  replied,  vehemently:  "Doctor, 
you're  a  damned  fool  !"  The  Doctor  at  once  chal- 
lenged Magruder  to  fight,  which  cartel  of  defiance 
was  at  once  accepted,  the  combat  to  take  place  on  the 
spot,  and  over  the  dining  table,  from  end  to  end,  dis- 
tance twelve  feet;  weapons — derringer  pistols.  Major 
Horace  Bell,  in  his  exciting  book,  entitled  "Reminis- 
censes  of  a  Ranger,"  presents  his  readers  the  follow- 
ing description  of  the  duel: 

Wilson  Jones,  the  Doctor's  second,  got  the  word,  and  the 
principals,  without  shaking  hands,  took  their  respective 
stations,  the  majestic  form  of  Magruder  towering  above  that 
of  the  diminutive  Doctor,  who  paled  and  shuddered  when 
brought  face  to  face  with  the  grim-visaged  son  of  Mars. 
All  was  suspense.  The  word  was  to  be:  Ready!  fire!  Onet 
two,  three!  At  the  word  "ready,"  to  the  dismay  of  all,  the 
Doctor  blazed  away.  When  the  smoke  cleared  somewhat, 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  109 

to  the  horror  of  the  valiant  disciple  of  Esculapius,  his  an- 
tagonist stood  as  stiff  and  defiant  as  an  avenging  demon. 
The  Doctor  quailed  ;  Magruder  glared  savagely  on  him  for  a 
full  minute.  The  spectators,  spell-bound,  looked  on  with 
horrible  forebodings.  Magruder  took  two  "side  steps  to  the 
right,"  which  brought  him  clear  of  the  end  of  the  table.  He 
then  advanced  the  "right  foot  full  to  the  front,"  with  his 
glaring  eyeballs  bent  fiercely  on  the  now  terrified  Doctor. 
He  then  brought  the  left  foot  up  to  the  rear  of  the  right  heel 
and  leveled  his  derringer  at  the  ghastly  face  of  the  tremb- 
ling Doctor.  Then  he  advanced  the  right  foot  as  before, 
and  in  this  way,  with  firm  and  unrelenting  tread,  he  slowly 
advanced  on  the  now  thoroughly  frightened  Doctor,  who 
made  a  movement  toward  the  door.  The  spectators  inter- 
posed, and  cut  off  the  possibility  of  retreat  in  that  direction. 
The  Doctor  tried  to  flank  the  Colonel  by  skirmishing  around 
the  table.  Magruder  faced  to  the  left,  as  though  moving  on 
a  pivot,  and  kept  the  direful  derringer  aimed  directly  at  the 
Doctor's  palid  countenance.  In  the  excitement  the  Doctor 
ran  under  the  table,  crawled  through,  grasped  the  knees  of 
the  irate  hero,  and  affectionately  embracing  them,  said : 
"  Colonel  Magruder,  for  the  love  of  God,  spare  me  for  my 

family."     The  Colonel  gave  him  a  kick,  and  said  :  "  D n 

you !  I'll  spare  you  for  the  hangman."  And,  so  saying, 
he  handed  the  weapon  to  his  second,  and  the  festivities  were 
adjourned. 

This  mode  of  fighting  over  a  table  did  not  origi- 
nate in  the  "far  West,"  however;  for,  as  early  as 
1771,  the  brother  of  General  Delancey,  the  notorious 
barrack-master  general  of  the  British  army,  had  high 
words  one  evening  with  a  Charlestonian  named 
Haley,  in  a  coffee-house  near  the  foot  of  Broadway, 
New  York,  during  which  the  American  called  for 
pistols,  and  insisted  upon  fighting  the  Britisher  in 
one  of  the  coffee-rooms  across  a  table.  The  English- 
man was  kind  enough  to  accommodate  the  belliger- 


HO  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

ent  Yankee,  and  was  shot  dead  as  soon  as  the  word 
was  given.  An  account  of  this  affair,  published  in  the 
New  York  Evening  Post  in  1845,  says  that  Delancey 
was  murdered,  as  the  American  discharged  his  weap- 
on dishonestly  before  his  time.  Another  account 
declares  that  the  disturbance  took  place  in  South 
Carolina,  and  that  Delancey  and  Haley  both  fired  at 
the  same  time;  and  that  the  survivor  was  defended 
by  the  Pinckneys  and  Rutledges. 

Among  the  many  descriptions  of  the  bloody  en- 
counter which  gave  the  bowie-knife  its  name  the 
writer  has  seen  none  so  generally  and  briefly  inter- 
esting as  the  account  lately  furnished  the  Philadel- 
phia Times  by  a  correspondent  of  that  paper,  which 
is  as  follows: 

A  feud  had  existed  for  years  between  two  parties  of  the 
parish  of  Rapides  (Louisiana),  on  Red  River.  The  princi- 
pals were  Dr.  Maddox,  Major  Wright,  and  the  Blanchards 
on  the  one  part,  the  Curreys,  the  Wellses,  and  the  Bowies 
on  the  other.  A  challenge  was  passed  between  Dr.  Maddox 
and  Samuel  Wells,  and  the  meeting  was  arranged  to  take 
place  opposite  Natchez  (Miss.),  in  August,  1827.  Hither 
the  parties  repaired  with  their  friends.  It  was  agreed  that 
no  persons  should  be  present  but  the  combatants,  their  sec- 
onds and  surgeons.  The  place  of  meeting  was  a  large  sand- 
bar, immediately  opposite  Natchez.  The  sand-bar  at  low 
water  is  of  considerable  width,  bordered  above  and  below 
with  forest  growth ;  on  the  opposite  side  of  this  bar  were 
stationed  the  friends  of  each  party ;  one  of  these  parties 
was  something  nearer  to  the  combatants  than  the  other. 
Colonel  Crane  was  the  second  of  Maddox.  Between  him 
and  James  Bowie  and  General  Currey  there  had  long  existed 
a  deadly  feud,  and  several  months  before  this  affair  General 
Currey  shot  Colonel  Crane  with  a  shotgun,  on  Bayou  Rap- 
ids, disabling  one  of  his  arms.  The  parties  to  the  duel  ap- 
proached the  spot  selected  for  the  combat  from  different 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  Ill 

directions.  The  preliminaries  were  soon  arranged.  The 
combatants  took  their  positions  and  exchanged  two  shots 
without  effect,  and  the  difficulty  was  amicably  adjusted. 
Bowie  was  just  in  the  edge  of  the  woods  with  Generals  Wells 
and  Currey,  armed  with  pistols,  Bowie  carrying  a  huge  knife. 
As  the  duelling  party  started  to  leave  the  grounds  Bowie 
and  party  advanced  to  meet  them.  The  friends  of  Maddox 
and  Crane  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  sand-bar,  seeing  this, 
and  being  furthest  from  the  party,  started  to  run  to  meet 
them  as  soon  as  they  should  reach  the  retiring  combatants. 
General  Currey  was  the  first  on  the  ground,  closely  followed 
by  Bowie.  Currey  immediately  advanced  upon  Colonel 
Crane  and  remarked :  "  Colonel  Crane,  this  is  a  good  time  to 
settle  our  difficulty,"  and  commenced  drawing  his  pistol. 
Bowie  did  the  same.  Crane  was  armed  with  a  brace  of  duel- 
ling pistols,  and  awaited  the  attack  of  Currey.  At  this  mo- 
ment Currey  was  seized  by  his  brother  and  begged  to  desist. 
Bowie  and  Crane  fired  at  each  other,  it  is  said,  without 
effect.  There  were  those  who  said  Bowie  was  wounded. 
The  latter  statement  I  think  most  probable,  for  Bowie 
stopped,  felt  of  his  hip,  and  then,  drawing  his  knife,  limped 
toward  Crane,  who  was  watching  General  Currey.  Released 
from  the  hold  of  his  brother,  Currey  was  advancing.  At 
this  moment  Crane  leaped  across  a  small  ravine  cut  through 
the  sand  by  the  rain  water  flowing  from  the  acclivities 
above,  and,  resting  his  pistol  upon  his  crippled  arm,  fired  at 
Currey,  wounding  him  fatally,  from  the  effects  of  which  he 
fell.  Crane  was  now  disarmed,  and  Bowie  advanced  cau- 
tiously upon  him.  Clubbing  his  pistol  he  struck  Bowie 
over  the  head  as  he  avoided  his  knife  adroitly,  and  felled 
him  to  the  ground.  Crane  retreated  a  step  as  his  friend, 
Major  Wright,  advanced  upon  him,  and  with  a  long,  slender 
spear,  drawn  from  a  walking-cane  which  he  carried,  attacked 
Bowie,  who  made  a  pass  to  parry  the  spear  with  his  knife,  in 
which  he  failed.  The  spear  was  of  cold  iron,  and  striking 
the  breast-bone  bent  and  went  round  upon  the  rib.  Bowie 
at  this  moment  seized  Wright  and  fell,  pulling  Wright  down 
with  and  on  top  of  him,  and  holding  him  strongly  to  his 


112  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

person.  Wright  was  slender,  and  by  no  means  a  strong 
man,  and  was  powerless  in  the  hands  of  Bowie,  who  coolly 
said  to  him :  "  Now,  Major,  you  die,"  and  plunging  the 
knife  into  his  heart,  killed  him  instantly.  This  knife  was 
made  by  Resin  P.  Bowie  out  of  a  blacksmith's  rasp  or  large 
file,  and  was  the  original  of  the  famous  bowie-knife.  When 
James  Bowie  received  it  from  his  brother,  he  was  told  by 
him  that  it  was  "  strong,  and  of  admirable  temper.  It  is 
more  trustworthy  in  the  hands  of  a  strong  man  than  a  pis- 
tol, for  it  will  not  snap ;  Crane  and  Wright  are  both  your 
enemies  ;  they  are  from  Maryland,  the  birthplace  of  our  an- 
cestors, and  are  as  brave  as  you  are,  but  not  so  cool.  They 
are  both  inferior  in  strength  to  yourself,  and  therefore  not 
your  equal  in  a  close  fight.  They  are  both  dangerous,  but 
Wright  the  most  so.  Keep  this  knife  always  with  you.  It 
will  be  your  friend  in  a  last  resort,  and  may  save  your  life." 
After  this  conflict  Resin  P.  Bowie  earned  this  knife  to  Phila- 
delphia, where  it  was  fashioned  by  a  cutler  into  the  form  of 
a  model  made  by  him,  and  I  presume  the  knife  is  yet  in  the 
possession  of  some  member  of  the  family.  There  was  no 
reconciliation  between  Crane  and  Bowie  after  the  conflict, 
though  Crane  aided  personally  in  carrying  Bowie  from  the 
ground,  and  Bowie  thanked  him  and  said  :  "  Colonel  Crane, 
I  do  not  think,  under  the  circumstances,  you  ought  to  have 
shot  me."  Almost  immediately  after  the  attack  of  Currey 
upon  Crane,  the  fight  between  their  friends  became  general, 
in  which  there  were  fifteen  wounded  and  at  least  six  killed, 
among  whom  were  Currey  and  Wright.  All  the  men  en- 
gaged in  this  terrible  affair  were  men  of  wealth  and  high  so- 
cial position,  and  the  two  parties  included  almost  every  man 
of  fortune  in  the  extensive  and  wealthy  parish  of  Rapides. 
All  are  gone  save  Maddox  and  Wells,  both  very  old,  and 
still  residing  in  the  same  parish. 

Mr.  S.  P.  Hall,  a  resident  of  San  Francisco,  con- 
tributed to  the  Alia  of  that  city,  in  January,  1884, 
what  he  claims  as  a  "truthful  narrative,"  which  dif- 
fered only  in  a  few  of  the  important  details  of  the 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  113 

tragedy  as  chronicled  by   the  correspondent  of  the 
Philadelphia  Times,  as  follows: 

The  grand  fight  which  gave  origin  to  the  bowie-knife,  the 
fearful  fame  of  which  is  spread  over  all  countries,  occurred 
in  the  month  of  August,  1827.  In  that  year  the  writer  was 
fourteen  years  old,  and  stood  by  the  side  of  his  father  and 
witnessed  the  fight.  The  facts  were  indelibly  impressed 
upon  his  memory,  and  he  proposes  to  give  you  a  truthful 
narrative  of  them :  In  the  year  mentioned  many  persons, 
moved  by  the  spirit  of  adventure,  engaged  in  the  speculation 
of  the  rich  unentered  cotton  lands  in  the  States  of  Missis- 
sippi and  Louisiana.  Among  those  adventurers  were  the 
brothers  Resin  and  James  Bowie,  from  the  State  of  Mary- 
land. They  were  men  of  fair  education,  well  raised,  as  the 
phrase  goes,  and  of  unshaken  resolution.  They  were  men 
of  good  intelligence,  imposing  presence  and  excellent  phys- 
ique, Resin  being  the  elder  and  more  considerate,  and 
James,  the  junior,  having  more  of  the  dare-devil  in  his  com- 
position. These  men  organized  a  party  of  land  speculators, 
which  soon  came  in  antagonism  with  another  party  who 
acknowledged  the  leadership  of  Judge  Crane,  a  cultured 
gentleman  of  Rapides  parish,  Louisiana.  He  was  as  brave 
and  chivalrous  as  men  generally  get  to  be.  Between  him 
and  James  Bowie  a  deadly  feud  existed,  resulting  from  a 
personal  rencontre  (no  weapons)  in  which  Judge  Crane  was 
worsted.  The  members  of  each  party  sympathized  with 
their  leaders,  and  several  fights  and  duels  had  grown  out  of 
it.  Among  others,  a  duel  was  'arranged  to  take  place  be- 
tween Dr.  Maddox  and  Samuel  Wells,  on  the  sand-bar  oppo- 
site the  city  of  Natchez,  the  former  being  in  the  State  of 
Louisiana,  the  latter  in  Mississippi.  According  to  the  terms 
of  the  fight,  neither  Judge  Crane  nor  James  Bowie  were  to 
be  present.  Bowie  at  the  time  had  his  residence  in  Natchez 
(Miss.),  and  Judge  Crane  at  Alexandria  (La.),  but  was  then 
stopping  at  a  hotel  in  the  city  mentioned.  The  parties  to 
the  duel  met  at  the  place  appointed,  but  influential  citizens 
from  Natchez  intervened  and  prevented  hostilities.  At  this 


IU  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

place  a  spring  gurgled  from  the  bank,  overshadowed  by 
willows,  with  benches  arranged  for  the  accommodation  of 
visitors.  The  parties  and  their  friends  thought  it  a  fitting 
occasion  and  place  to  have  a  good  time,  and  had  cham- 
pagne, brandy,  cigars,  etc.,  brought  over  from  Natchez,  and 
sat  enjoying  themselves,  when  Judge  Crane  unexpectedly 
put  in  his  appearance  and  joined  in  the  convivial  feeling, 
well  pleased  with  the  pacification.  But  another  appearance 
was  shortly  to  be  put  in  which  was  to  involve  direful  conse- 
quences. Bowie,  doubting  that  Judge  Crane  would  abide 
his  promise  to  stay  away  from  the  place  where  the  fight  was 
appointed  to  take  place,  placed  a  spy  upon  his  actions,  who 
reported  to  Bowie  that  he  had,  with  two  friends,  crossed  the 
river  in  a  skiff  for  the  scene  of  expected  action.  Bowie, 
upon  learning  this  much,  crossed  over  on  the  ferry-boat, 
which  landed  half  a  mile  below,  and,  all  alone,  walked  up 
the  bank.  The  citizens  of  Natchez,  generally,  were  notified 
of  the  expected  fight  and  had  crossed  over  the  river  to  see 
it.  As  the  party  quaffed  the  generous  fluids,  good  feeling 
arose  as  the  goblets  declined,  and  everything  was  tinged 
with  the  rainbow  hues  of  friendly  feeling,  when  a  rustle  in 
the  boughs,  which  overhung  the  path  which  led  down  to 
the  spring  attracted  attention,  and  the  manly  form  of 
James  Bowie,  couchant,  to  avoid  the  boughs,  met  the  gaze 
of  the  party.  Instantaneously,  like  a  snowflake  falling  upon 
a  heated  furnace,  the  friendly  feeling  disappeared.  The 
very  presence  of  Bowie  meant  fight,  and  it  took  place  be- 
tween the  high-mettled  parties,  all  of  whom  were  men  of 
wealth  and  social  standing.  Previous  to  the  appearance  of 
Bowie,  Andrew  Marschalk,  editor  of  the  Natchez  Courier,  a 
Revolutionary  soldier  highly  respected  and  of  strong  influ- 
ence, remarked  to  Judge  Crane  :  "  Judge,  this  is  a  fitting  oc- 
casion to  bring  about  friendly  relations  between  you  and 
James  Bowie,  whom  you  acknowledge  to  be  a  gentleman." 
Judge  Crane  excitedly  remarked,  quoting  from  Shakspeare  : 

"  No!  No!  Ne'er  can  true  reconcilement  grow 
Where  wounds  of  deadly  hate  have  pierced  so  deep!" 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  11$ 

Scarcely  had  the  words  died  upon  his  lips  when  the  "  man 
of  fight "  descended  the  path  and  stood  upon  the  sand-bar. 
Judge  Crane  arose  and  fired  upon  him  with  a  pistol,  the  ball 
passing  quite  through  his  body.  He  staggered  and  fell. 
Judge  Crane  ran  up  with  a  sword-cane  and  attempted  to 
stab  him.  Bowie  skilfully  warded  the  thrusts,  and  putting 
forth  all  his  strength,  grasped  the  spear  with  one  hand,  and 
with  the  other  seized  the  judge  by  his  cravat,  which,  ac- 
cording to  the  fashion  of  the  day,  men  wore  tightly  secured 
around  their  necks,  and  drew  him  down  closely  upon  his 
body.  Disengaging  the  spear  from  the  hand  of  Judge 
Crane,  he  pierced  him  through  the  body  and  heart,  and 
he  died  upon  the  body  of  his  prostrate  foe,  who  fainted 
from  the  loss  of  blood.  As  intimated  above,  the  charm  of 
friendship  was  dissolved  by  the  appearance  of  James  Bowie, 
and  the  friends  of  the  respective  parties  separated  and  fired 
upon  each  other.  Six  men  were  killed  and  fifteen  wounded. 
Many  citizens  of  Natchez  who  were  present  waded  into  the 
water  of  the  Mississippi  River,  then  at  a  low  stage,  to  escape 
the  bullets.  Dr.  Girault,  who  was  present  as  surgeon  of  Dr. 
Maddox,  a  man  of  low  stature,  also  waded  in.  His  friends 
afterward  jokingly  would  tell  him  that  at  every  flash  from 
the  pistols  of  the  combatants  he  would  duck  his  head  under 
water  until  he  was  nearly  drowned.  As  stated,  the  ball 
from  Judge  Crane's  pistol  passed  quite  through  the  body  of 
Bowie,  but  cut  no  chord  which  bound  him  to  life,  and  his 
strong  vitality  enabled  him  to  recover.  He  was  confined  to 
his  bed  for  three  months,  and  being  a  man  of  inventive 
genius,  and  fond  of  hunting,  he  whittled  from  white  pine, 
with  his  pocket-knife,  the  model  of  a  hunting-knife,  and 
sent  it  to  two  brothers  in  the  city  of  Natchez,  skilful  black- 
smiths, by  the  name  of  Blackman,  from  Massachusetts,  with 
instructions  to  spare  no  expense  in  the  making,  They  made 
a  knife,  according  to  the  model,  from  a  broad  file  or  rasp, 
such  as  are  used  in  saw-mills,  ornamented  with  silver  about 
the  handle.  This  knife  the  writer  has  seen  James  Bowie, 
years  after  the  events  here  written,  exhibit  to  his  friends. 
A  hardware  merchant  of  Natchez,  catching  the  idea,  sent  a 


Il6  THE  FIELD    OF  HONOR. 

model  of  this  knife  to  Philadelphia  and  had  a  large  number 
manufactured,  and  they  were  sold  rapidly. 

After  presenting  quite  a  number  of  characteristic 
incidents  in  the  life  of  James  Bowie,  Mr.  Hall  con- 
cludes his  sketch  thus: 

Many  years  after  this,  a  Methodist  minister  in  the  town  of 
Clinton,  Louisiana,  told  the  writer  this  :  That  he  was  among 
the  first  preachers  sent  by  the  Methodist  Conference  to 
Texas,  while  it  was  in  its  embryo  condition,  to  preach  ;  that 
he  crossed  the  Mississippi  below  the  old  town  of  Fort 
Adams,  and  travelled  up  Red  River,  in  Louisiana,  to  get  to 
Texas.  The  first  day  after  crossing  the  Mississippi  he  was 
overtaken  by  a  horseman,  dressed  in  a  buckskin  garb,  armed 
with  rifle,  pistols,  and  a  hunting-knife.  They  entered  into 
conversation,  and  he  found  his  travelling  companion  an  in- 
telligent, agreeable  gentleman,  well  acquainted  with  the 
geography  of  the  country.  They  journeyed  together  for 
several  days,  one  not  asking  the  other  his  name  or  his  busi- 
ness, until  they  reached  a  town  in  Texas  which  had  been 
made  the  headquarters  of  desperadoes  and  refugees  from 
justice  from  every  State.  There  he  gave  notice  that  he 
would  preach  at  night  in  the  court-house.  At  the  hour 
appointed  the  court-house  was  filled  with  men,  only  a  few 
women.  He  said  he  gave  out  a  hymn  and  all  sang  it  and 
sang  it  well ;  but  when  he  took  his  text  and  attempted  to 
preach,  he  was  saluted  by  one  with  the  bray  of  an  ass, 
another  by  the  hooting  of  an  owl,  and  kindred  noises.  Dis- 
liking to  leave  without  preaching,  he  waited  until  the  inter- 
ruptions subsided,  for  three  several  times,  when  his  travelling 
companion,  whom  he  did  not  know  was  present,  arose  in 
the  midst  of  the  congregation  and  said  :  "  Men,  this  man 
has  come  here  to  preach  to  you — you  need  preaching  to,  and 

I'll  be  d d  if  he  sha'n't  preach  to  you.     The  next   man 

that  disturbs  him  shall  fight  me.  My  name's  Jim  Bowie." 
The  preacher  addeJ  that  after  the  announcement  of  the 
name  Jim  Bowie  he  never  had  a  more  respectful  and  atten- 
tive congregation.  It  is  hardly  necessary  to  say  that  James 


DUELLING  IN  AMERICA.  II 7 

Bowie  laid  down  his  life  at  the  Alamo,  in  the  State  of  Texas. 
Greece,  in  ancient  times,  had  her  Thermopylae,  from  which 
only  three  persons  escaped.  The  Alamo  was  the  American 
Thermopylae,  from  whence  only  one  woman  and  a  negro 
boy  escaped.  Travis,  the  commandant,  Crockett  and  James 
Bowie,  his  subordinates,  a  trio  of  heroes !  Patriotism  mourns 
their  fate  and  memory  will  bedew  their  graves  with  her  tears 
as  long  as  noble  deeds  move  the  human  heart  with  pleasur- 
able emotions.  In  truth,  every  man  who  fell  at  the  Alamo 
was  a  hero,  because  not  one  asked  or  expected  quarter. 
They  fought  to  protect  the  infant  settlements  of  Texas 
from  savage  destruction. 

As  a  general  thing,  during  the  times  of  which  we 
write,  the  favorite  weapons  with  the  Alabamians  and 
Mississippians  were  rifles  and  shotguns,  which  were 
seldom  used  without  fatal  effect.  The  favorite  weap- 
ons of  the  Creoles,  however,  were  four-sided  rapiers; 
and,  as  a  matter  of  course,  wounds  were  frequent  and 
fatalities  few. 


Il8  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 


CHAPTER  VI. 

INDIANS,  MEXICANS,  CUBANS,  JAPANESE. 

Fall  of  a  Noted  Choctaw  Chief — Duelling  among  the  Mexicans — 
Mortal  Combat  of  a  Mexican  Banker  and  a  French  Merchant — 
The  Custom  in  the  West  Indies — Code  Henri— Restrictions  in 
Cuba — An  Exciting  Duel  between  Soler  (a  Cuban)  and  Palacios 
(a  Spaniard)  in  Havana — The  Japanese  Mode:  "  It  is  only  an 
accident,  and  at  best  it  is  only  a  quarrel  between  the  two 
swords." 

AMONG  many  tribes  of  American  Indians  duelling 
exists  according  to  a  fashion  entirely  their  own.' 
With  many  tribes  it  is  necessary  that  both  the  com- 
batants perish  in  all  cases,  thus:  A  member  feels 
offended,  and  demands  a  combat;  the  day  is  fixed  and 
the  tribe  assemble;  the  champions  advance,  the  of- 
fended man  armed  with  a  rifle  or  shotgun,  and  the 
offender  unarmed;  the  one  without  arms  uncovers  his 
breast  and  receives  the  missile  of  death,  and  the 
other,  while  the  offender  is  weltering  in  his  blood, 
presents  his  weapon  to  some  relative  or  friend  of  his 
dying  adversary,  retreats  a  certain  number  of  paces, 
points  with  his  finger  to  the  place  where  the  heart  is 
seated,  and  receives  the  mortal  wound. 

This  mode  does  not  prevail  among  either  the 
Choctaws  or  Cherokees,  who  fight  their  duels  gener- 
ally according  to  the  "code;"  or,  at  least,  like  many 
"  pale  faces"  whom  they  have  seen  fall  upon  the 


INDIANS,   MEXICANS,    CUBANS,  JAPANESE.    IIQ 

"  field  of  honor."  And  the  author  is  reminded,  in 
this  connection,  that  in  July,  1883,  Carpenter,  the 
celebrated  Choctaw  Chief,  fought  a  fatal  duel  near 
the  Pine  Creek  Indian  Agency  (Arkansas),  with  a 
white  man  named  Price.  It  seems  that  the  two  men 
got  into  a  quarrel  about  some  trivial  matter,  when 
Price  called  Carpenter  a  liar;  whereupon  the  enraged 
Chief,  after  looking  calmly  into  Price's  face,  ex- 
claimed: "Your  heart's  blood,  sir,  shall  wash  out  this 
insult !"  "  My  blood  is  yours,  sir,  when  you  have  the 
power  to  take  it!"  responded  Price,  "and  I  will  give 
you  the  opportunity  right  here  and  now!"  "No,  sir, 
not  now,"  said  the  Chief,  coldly;  "  but  you  must  meet 
me  at  this  spot  to-morrow,  without  fail."  "  I'm  your 
man,  my  friend,  and  don't  you  forget  it.  I'll  meet 
you  to-morrow,  with  the  good  friend  I  always  carry 
in  my  hip  pocket,  at  any  moment  you  name-^when 
shall  we  meet? — make  it  early,  for  I  have  an  engage- 
ment at  the  Agency  in  the  afternoon."  "When  the 
sun  shines  above  the  top  of  yon  tree,"  responded 
Carpenter,  pointing  to  a  wild  plum,  as  he  spoke;  "  at 
that  hour  stand  you  here  and  you  will  see  me."  They 
then  separated.  The  report  of  the  quarrel  and  pro- 
posed duel  spread  far  and  wide,  and  before  sunrise 
the  following  morning  a  large  crowd  had  gathered 
upon  the  spot  to  witness  the  strange  encounter. 
Price  arrived  first  on  the  field.  He  was  quickly  fol- 
lowed by  Carpenter,  who  appeared  just  as  the  sun 
rose  above  the  tree-tops  and  illumined  the  open  space 
upon  which  Price  stood.  Both  men  drew  their  pistols. 
Not  a  word  was  spoken.  Raising  their  weapons  they 
fired  almost  simultaneously.  Carpenter  reeled,  but 
rallying,  both  fired  again.  This  time  Price  dropped 
dead  in  his  tracks.  The  crowd  pressed  forward  with 


120  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

a  wild  shout.  As  they  did  so  the  Chief  fell  on  the 
ground  senseless.  A  bullet  had  entered  his  breast; 
blood  gushed  from  his  mouth,  and  he  was  thought  to 
be  dying.  Price  had  been  shot  through  the  heart. 
Chief  Carpenter  was  a  splendid  specimen  of  Indian 
manhood.  He  was  tall  and  straight  and  comely.  He 
was  well  educated  and  had  natural  talents  which 
placed  him  head  and  shoulders  above  all  his  Indian 
associates. 

The  Mexicans  have  not  been  much  of  a  duelling 
people — at  least,  the  upper  classes  of  Mexico  have 
not  indulged  in  the  custom  to  the  same  extent  that 
those  of  other  countries  have  done,  albeit  fights  with 
knives  and  assassinations  have  always  prevailed  to  an 
alarming  degree  in  all  of  the  States  of  the  Mexican 
Republic.  The  first  duel  (of  which  there  has  been 
any  record)  in  that  country  jtook  place  in  1521,  in 
which  Nunez,  of  the  staff  of  Cortez,  slew  a  Mexican 
of  great  fighting  renown,  after  a  desperate  combat 
with  swords.  Cortez  himself,  says  Prescott,  "was 
frequently  involved  in  affairs  of  honor,  from  which, 
though  an  expert  swordsman,  he  carried  away  scars 
that  accompanied  him  to  his  grave."  Among  the 
lower  classes  of  Mexicans  fighting  to  the  death  with 
the  lariata  (lasso)  is  sometimes  practised.  Generally, 
however,  these  lower  orders  settle  their  disturbances 
(assassin-like)  with  the  knife. 

In  1851  Senor  Trias  challenged  an  American  named 
Richards  for  ungentlemanly  language  concerning  his 
countrymen  in  the  City  of  Mexico,  and  the  latter  was 
shot  dead  at  the  first  fire.  The  latest  duel  upon 
Mexican  soil  took  place  near  Chapultepec,  just 
outside  of  the  City  of  Mexico,  on  the  morning  of 
November  8,  1883,  between  Mr.  de  Ghest,  of  the 


INDIANS,    MEXICANS,    CUBANS,  JAPANESE.       121 

Mexican  National  Bank,  and  M.  Ollivier,  a  resident 
French  merchant,  in  which  the  latter  was  killed  and 
the  former  severely  wounded  in  three  places.  The 
difficulty,  says  the  New  York  Herald  of  November 
22d,  arose  out  of  a  dispute  at  the  Peralvillo  races 
over  the  possession  of  some  of  the  seats,  and  was 
aggravated  by  the  fact  that  several  of  the  disputants 
were  foreigners.  It  appears  that  the  British  Minister, 
Sir  Spencer  St.  John,  two  American  ladies,  and  Mr. 
de  Ghest,  had  been  witnessing  the  sport  from  the 
raised  seats  on  the  grand  stand.  During  the  custom- 
ary promenade  between  the  races  the  party  left  their 
seats  unoccupied,  and  on  their  return  were  surprised 
to  find  that  they  had  been  taken  by  some  other 
foreigners,  among  whom  was  M.  Ollivier,  a  French 
merchant.  Mr.  de  Ghest  demanded  that  the  intrud- 
ers should  give  up  the  seats.  M.  Ollivier  refused, 
saying  that,  as  the  seats  were  not  numbered  or 
reserved,  his  party  had  as  good  a  right  to  them  as 
the  former  occupants.  To  this  Mr.  de  Ghest  replied 
that  he  was  a  member  of  the  Jockey  Club  and  would 
see  that  the  seats  were  given  up.  Some  friend  of  Mr. 
de  Ghest  said  to  him  while  the  row  was  going  on: 
"Do  not  mind  these  people;  they  are  Barcelonnettes," 
alluding  to  the  town  in  the  south  of  France  whence 
many  of  the  French  residents  of  Mexico  had  come. 
On  the  other  hand  a  friend  of  M.  Ollivier  said  to  Mr. 
de  Ghest:  "You  are  an  insolent  fellow,  and  to-morrow 
you  will  answer  to  me  for  this;  here  is  my  card." 
"  What  have  I  to  do  with  your  name  ?"  answered  Mr. 
de  Ghest,  excitedly;  "I  am  not  in  your  set  and  don't 
know  you."  He  appealed  to  the  police  and  caused 
M.  Ollivier  to  be  ejected  from  his  seat  and  locked  up 
in  jail.  The  affair  naturally  caused  great  excitement 


122  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR, 

in  the  City  of  Mexico,  partly  on  account  of  the  dif- 
ferent nationality  of  the  chief  participants.  Mr.  de 
Ghest  is  one  of  the  leaders  of  society  in  the  Mexican 
capital,  and  is  connected  with  the  Mexican  National 
Bank.  M.  Ollivier  was  connected  with  a  French  firm 
of  high  standing,  and  was  accompanied  by  French 
ladies  belonging  to  the  best  society  in  the  city.  Ex- 
citement ran  very  high  in  the  French  colony.  The 
Colonie  Fran$aise  demanded  the  expulsion  of  Mr.  de 
Ghest  from  the  French  Horse  Club  and  the  Cercle 
Franchise.  A  protest  against  M.  Ollivier's  arrest  was 
signed  by  about  two  hundred  French  residents,  and 
he  was  finally  released  from  jail  by  the  authorities. 
The  next  day  there  was  a  stormy  scene  at  the  Mexi- 
can National  Bank.  It  appears  that  Mr.  Robert,  who 
is  connected  with  the  house  of  Ollivier  &  Co.,  and  is 
a  director  in  the  bank,  demanded  the  dismissal  of 
Mr.  de  Ghest.  The  latter  explained  how  the  affair 
occurred  to  Mr.  Robert,  but  he  became  indignant  and 
denounced  Mr.  de  Ghest  as  a  liar.  Mr.  de  Ghest 
then  handed  in  his  resignation,  and  said  to  Mr. 
Robert  that  he  would  send  him  a  challenge.  The 
latter,  it  is  alleged,  said  he  would  kick  Mr.  de  Ghest 
and  his  seconds  out  of  his  house,  whereupon  Mr.  de 
Ghest  struck  Mr.  Robert  in  the  face.  Mr.  Robert 
announced  that  he  would  begin  criminal  proceedings 
against  his  assailant.  After  this  scene  Mr.  de  Ghest 
challenged  M.  Ollivier.  The  challenge  was  accepted, 
and  M.  Reganon  was  requested  to  act  as  a  second. 
Not  satisfied  with  this,  Mr.  de  Ghest  sent  a  general 
challenge  to  each  of  the  persons  who  had  signed  the 
protest  against  M.  Ollivier's  arrest.  In  his  letter  Mr. 
de  Ghest  says: 
I  will  simply  say  that  I  caused  a  rule  which  rs  enforced 


INDIAN'S,  MEXICANS,  CUBANS,  JAPANESE.    123 

everywhere  to  be  applied  in  the  case  of  a  person  who  lacked 
common  politeness  at  a  public  gathering.  The  group  who 
took  up  the  quarrel  try  to  bring  in  the  whole  French  colony, 
but  the  latter  should  bear  in  mind  that  they  would  disregard 
national  characteristics  if  they  were  to  champion  those  who 
affront  women,  conceal  their  signatures,  and  receive  blows 
without  returning  them.  Now,  as  regards  the  persons  di- 
rectly concerned  who  have  mixed  themselves  up  with  the 
signers  of  the  protest,  I  request  you  to  make  known  to  them 
and  to  the  person  who  asserts  that  I  refused  to  take  his  card, 
that  I  am  at  their  service  in  my  residence,  No.  12  Guardiola 
Hotel.  J  hope  that  among  those  unknown  signers  there  will 
be  found  one  who  will  abandon  the  prudent  reserve  which 
has  been  displayed  so  far  by  the  persons  concerned,  includ- 
ing M.  Sebastien  Robert,  who  has  refused  to  name  his  sec- 
onds after  compelling  me  to  strike  him. 

As  has  been  stated,  the  duel  took  place  on  Novem- 
ber 8.  It  was  fought  with  swords,  and  M.  Ollivier 
was  killed.  About  eight  o'clock  in  the  morning  Mr. 
de  Ghest  and  M.  Emile  Ollivier,  with  their  seconds, 
repaired  to  a  place  in  the  vicinity  of  Piedad.  After 
the  usual  preliminaries  the  combatants  confronted 
each  other.  Thrusts  were  skilfully  parried,  but  at 
length  Mr  Ollivier  wounded  his  opponent  in  the 
shoulder.  They  fenced  again,  and  Mr.  de  Ghest  re- 
ceived a  second  thrust,  also  in  the  shoulder.  At  this 
moment  there  was  intense  anxiety  manifested,  and 
the  seconds  looked  inquiringly  at  each  other.  It  is 
said  that  M.  Ollivier  now  inquired,  "  Are  you  satis- 
fied? implying  that  he  was.  Mr.  de  Ghest,  who  was 
angered  by  the  wounds  he  had  received,  said,  "  Go 
on.  It  is  not  for  you  to  speak;  your  seconds  alone 
have  that  right/  The  fight  went  on,  and  in  a 
moment  Mr.  de  Ghest  ran  his  sword  through  the 
breast  of  his  opponent,  wounding  him  mortally.  At 


124  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

the  same  instant  M.  Ollivier's  sword  pierced  the  neck 
of  his  opponent,  inflicting  a  third  severe  wound.  The 
physicians  did  all  that  was  possible  for  the  wounded 
combatants,  but  M.  Ollivier  died  in  a  short  time. 
His  remains  lay  in  the  afternoon  at  the  French  Hos- 
pital. Mr.  de  Ghest  was  assisted  to  his  carriage  and 
returned  to  town. 

Duelling  in  the  West  Indies,  except  upon  Hayti 
and  the  islands  under  Spanish  rule,  used  to  prevail  to 
a  great  extent,  although  the  custom  has  pretty  nearly 
died  out;  and  "  pistols  and  coffee"  are  not  called  for 
at  the  present  day,  either  by  quarrelsome  youth  or 
by  "old  stagers,"  with  that  same  reckless  demeanor 
they  used  to  be  in  days  of  yore.  Upon  the  small 
French  islands,  particularly,  the  "  code  of  honor"  was 
held  in  high  esteem,  both  by  foreigners  and  "  estated 
gentlemen,"  some  thirty,  forty,  and  fifty  years  ago;  and 
it  was  no  uncommon  thing,  in  those  times,  to  witness 
two  or  more  duels  a  month,  on  an  average — only  a 
few  of  which,  however,  were  attended  by  fatal  conse- 
quences. Many  a  hostile  meeting  has  been  precipi- 
tated by  the  wine-cup  at  the  "Cirque,"  the  famous 
club-house  of  Basseterre  (the  capital  of  Guadaloupe), 
a  resort  of  French  army  and  navy  officers,  and  by 
resident  planters  and  merchants  of  wealth  and  re- 
spectability There  was  then  no  law  in  force  against 
duelling;  so  the  custom  was  practised  without  muni- 
cipal restraint  or  fear  of  legal  consequences.  It  was 
generally  understood  throughout  select  society  upon 
St.  Martin  that  every  gentleman  must  have  empha- 
sized his  polite  breeding  either  by  having  been 
"  called  out"  or  of  having  challenged  his  man,  unless 
his  social  life  and  business  transactions  had  been 
phenomenally  serene  and  satisfactory.  There  was  an 


INDIANS,  MEXICANS,   CUBANS,  JAPANESE.    12$ 

air  of  perfect  refinement  and  absence  of  cruelty,  how- 
ever, in  the  deportment  of  St.  Martin  duellists;  and 
the  bowie-knife,  rifle,  or  double-barrelled  shotgun 
was  seldom  ever  used  as  a  weapon — the  invitations 
were  generally  "  pistols  and  coffee,"  and  the  terms 
"ten  paces  and  balls  thirty-two  to  the  pound." 

Among  the  various  methods  resorted  to  in  different 
countries  for  the  suppression  of  duelling,  none  has, 
perhaps,  been  so  decisive  as  that  of  Christophe,  the 
black  sovereign  of  Hayti;  for  in  the  criminal  code 
which  was  formed  during  his  reign,  and  to  which  the 
name  of  "  Code  Henri "  was  given  in  honor  of  him, 
"  the  king  particularly  forbids,  under  any  pretence 
whatever,  the  officers  of  the  army,  and  other  indi- 
viduals belonging  to  it,  to  make  use  of  sword,  sabre, 
pistol,  or  other  arms  against  each  other,  wherever 
they  may  be  quartered;  and  every  officer,  or  other 
individual  of  the  army,  or  belonging  to  it,  who  shall 
be  convicted  of  having  fought  a  duel  shall  be  shot  as 
a  rebel  against  the  king,  a  violator  of  justice,  and  a 
disturber  of  the  public  peace;  and  any  officer,  or 
other  person,  who  shall  be  convicted  of  having  acted 
as  a  second,  or  even  third  person,  in  a  duel,  and  to 
have  repaired  to  the  place  appointed  for  that  pur- 
pose in  order  to  assist  or  sanction  a  duel,  shall  be 
considered  as  those  already  designated,  and  shall  be 
shot  accordingly."  In  consequence  of  the  severity  of 
this  law,  duels,  which  were  very  frequent  prior  to  its 
taking  effect,  were  never  known  during  the  reign  of 
Christophe. 

Hot-blooded  as  the  inhabitants  of  Cuba  are  be- 
lieved to  be,  and  quarrelsome,  certainly,  as  any  other 
class  of  Spanish,  as  they  are  known  to  be,  still  there 
have  been  comparatively  but  few  individual  differ- 


126  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 

ences  settled  at  the  point  of  the  sword  during  the 
present  century  upon  that  island — which  state  of 
things  is,  of  course,  almost  entirely  due  to  the  exist- 
ing governmental  restrictions  upon  duelling  in  all  its 
forms,  and  to  the  frowning  majesty  of  a  place  of  con- 
finement adjacent  to  the  Cuban  capital  known  as 
Morro  Castle.  As  a  lesson  to  gentlemen  of  wounded 
sensibilities,  the  Captain-General  of  Cuba,  in  1854, 
sentenced  Sefior  Sartorius,  the  then  postmaster  of 
Havana,  and  Sefior  Gomusio,  an  officer  of  the  cus- 
toms at  the  Cuban  capital,  to  terms  of  imprisonment 
in  Morro  Castle  and  suspension  from  duties  of  their 
respective  offices  for  their  participation  as  principals 
in  a  duel,  although  both  were  severely  wounded  (the 
weapons  used  being  swords). 

Of  late  years  there  have  been  numerous  hostile 
meetings  resulting  from  the  turbulent  state  of  politics 
which  has  prevailed  upon  the  island  for  a  long  time; 
and  not  long  ago  a  young  Spaniard,  named  Nicholas 
Rivero,  arrived  at  Havana,  and  commenced  the  pub- 
lication of  a  paper  called  El  Ray o  {The  Thunderbolt), 
and  defamed  the  Cubans  mercilessly — to  such  a 
degree,  indeed,  that  the  editor  of  the  Palenque,  Sefior 
San  Miguel,  challenged  Rivero  to  meet  him  in  mortal 
combat.  This  was  on  November  3,  1883,  says  a 
special  despatch  from  Havana  to  the  New  York 
Herald;  and  on  the  same  evening  of  the  challenge 
Rivero  was  sauntering  past  the  Louvre  when  a  boy 
of  nineteen,  a  hunchback,  named  Guintana,  a  Cuban 
of  good  family,  approached  and  asked  Rivero  if  he 
was  the  author  of  the  insulting  article  in  the  Rayo,  a 
copy  of  which  the  youth  held  in  his  hand.  Rivero 
acknowledged  the  article,  whereupon  the  hunchback 
sprang  upon  him,  crumpled  the  paper  in  his  face,  and 


INDIANS,    MEXICANS,    CUBANS,  JAPANESE.     127 

knocked  him  over  against  one  of  the  tables.  With 
Rivero  was  Palacios,  a  tall,  strong  young  Spaniard. 
Palacios  was  what  Mark  Twain  would  call  the  fight- 
ing editor  of  the  Rayo.  At  Guintana's  assault  a 
tumult  immediately  arose  in  the  cafe,  the  habitues  of 
which  are  more  or  less  acquainted  with  each  other. 
They  gathered  around  the  combatants.  Palacios 
raised  his  cane  to  strike  the  boy,  when  he  was  seized 
by  the  neck  by  a  Cuban  officer  named  Angel  Soler. 
Calling  Palacios  a  coward,  Soler  thrust  him  aside. 
Intense  excitement  followed.  The  scene  ended  by  a 
challenge  there  and  then  between  Palacios  and  Soler. 
It  was  to  be  no  child's  play — passions  had  risen  too 
high  for  that.  Palacios  was  famed  for  being  a  good 
swordsman,  a  dead  shot,  and  with  a  nerve  of  iron. 
"These  Cubans  want  me  to  kill  two  or  three  of 
them,"  he  laughed  at  night,  "in  order  to  teach  them 
manners."  Soler  had  only  recently  entered  the  army, 
and  was  still  in  training.  Both  were  of  about  the 
same  age — twenty-eight  —  and  of  like  physique. 
Soler's  seconds  were  instructed  to  accept  no  terms 
less  than  a  duel  to  the  death,  and,  in  order  to  bring 
that  about,  to  agree,  if  need  be,  to  whatever  terms 
Palacios'  seconds  chose  to  make.  Soler,  having  the 
choice  of  weapons,  chose  pistols  at  ten  paces,  the 
principals  to  advance  five  and  fire.  This  was  ob- 
jected to  on  the  other  side  as  simple  murder.  Terms 
were  then  allowed  Palacios,  who  chose  swords.  Soler 
insisted  that  they  should  be  double-edged  and 
pointed,  and  after  some  demur  those  terms  were 
finally  accepted.  Next  morning  at  six  the  duel  was 
to  be  fought  at  La  Chorrera,  a  small  town  along  the 
coast,  three  or  four  miles  outside  Havana.  The  prin- 
cipals rose  at  five,  and,  with  doctor  and  seconds,  met, 


128  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

prepared  to  take  their  fatal  journey.  A  terrific  rain 
poured  down,  and  Heaven  seemed  to  intervene  in  the 
sad  folly.  But  they  were  bent  on  battle;  so  the  party 
adjourned  to  the  Payret  Theatre,  right  in  the  heart 
of  the  city,  just  off  the  Prado.  The  Payret  was  the 
finest  theatre  in  Havana.  A  year  ago  part  of  the  roof 
fell  in  through  the  accumulation  of  rain  on  its  flat 
surface,  and  the  place  is  now  in  ruins.  It  is  being 
rebuilt,  and  the  doors  are  barricaded.  They  forced 
open  one  of  the  doors  and  entered  the  artists'  dress- 
ing-room. The  preliminaries  were  brief.  The  keen- 
pointed  blades  were  drawn,  and  the  duel  began. 
Palacios,  being  the  more  skilled  swordsman  and 
confident  of  victory,  attacked  the  other  in  a  fury,  and 
from  the  first  forced  the  fighting.  Soler,  cool  and 
wary,  and  knowing,  his  man,  acted  wholly  .on  the 
defensive.  His  failure  to  end  the  matter  as  briefly  as 
he  had  expected  seemed  to  exasperate  Palacios.  He 
pressed  his  adversary  desperately,  but  was  met  with 
a  firm  defence.  Not  a  word  was  spoken  nor  a  sound 
heard,  save  the  .rush  of  the  rain  without  and  the 
dish-clash  of  the  steel.  Palacios  redoubled  his 
efforts.  A  parry  on  Soler's  part  knocked  his  adver- 
sary's weapon  wide  aside.  A  swift,  straight  thrust 
followed  instantaneously  before  the  other  could  re- 
cover his  guard,  and  through  the  left  side  of  the 
throat  entered  the  sharp-pointed  blade,  severing  all 
the  vessels  in  its  passage  and  issuing  clean  out  at  the 
other  side.  It  was  all  over.  Palacios  fell  to  the  floor, 
past  the  care  of  doctor  or  priest. 

The  mode  among  the  Japanese  may  be  illustrated 
by  the  following  example:  Two  officers  belonging  to 
the  Emperor's  staff  met  upon  the  imperial  staircase; 
their  swords  happened  to  entangle,  and  words  arose. 


INDIANS,   MEXICANS,    CUBANS,  JAPANESE.    1 29 

Said  one  to  the  other,  coolly,  "  It  is  only  an  accident, 
and  at  best  it  is  only  a  quarrel  between  the  two 
swords."  "We  shall  see  about  that,"  cried  the* other, 
excitedly;  and  with  these  words  he  drew  his  weapon 
and  plunged  it  into  his  breast.  The  other,  impatient 
to  obtain  the  same  advantage,  hurried  away  upon 
some  errand  of  service  which  he  was  slowly  perform- 
ing, and  instantly  returned  to  his  antagonist,  who  was 
already  at  the  point  of  death.  On  inquiring  if  he 
was  still  alive,  and  being  informed  of  the  fact,  he  also 
plunged  his  sword  into  his  own  body,  exclaiming, 
"  You  should  not  have  had  the  start  of  me  if  you  had 
not  found  me  engaged  in  the  service  of  the  Prince.  I 
die  contented,  however,  since  I  have  had  the  glory  of 
convincing  you  that  my  sword  is  as  good  as  yours." 


ISO  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 


CHAPTER  VII. 
VARIOUS   MODES  OF  FIGHTING. 

Fatal  Encounter  between  Count  de  Luz  and  Duke  de  Guise  near 
Paris — Desperate  Fight  in  Arkansas — Colonel  Jonah  Barring- 
ton's  Duel  with  Gilbert  in  Ireland — Duelling  in  the  Air — Artil- 
lery Duels — Scenes  before  Richmond,  Corinth,  Charleston,  and 
Atlanta — Spectacular  Duels  at  Sea — The  Kearsarge  and  Ala- 
bama— Bon  Homme  Richard  and  Serapis — Huascar  and  Esmer- 
alda — Miscellaneous  Modes  of  Combat — Tournaments  and 
Jousts — Duels  of  Fiction  and  of  the  Stage. 

DUELLING  on  horseback  was  not  an  uncommon 
mode  of  combat  two  or  three  centuries  ago  ;  and 
especially  in  Ireland,  where  there  still  exist  fields 
(with  the  old  post-holes)  upon  which  "  real  old  Irish 
gentlemen"  have  fought  many  furious  battles  upon 
chargers.  This  mode  of  hostilities,  says  Harrington, 
"  provided  that  combatants  should  gallop  past  each 
other  at  a  distance  marked  out  by  posts,  which 
prevented  a  nearer  approach.  They  were  at  liberty 
to  fire  at  each  other  at  any  time  from  the  commence- 
ment to  the  end  of  their  course,  but  they  were  com- 
pelled to  do  so  at  a  hard  gallop,  their  weapons 
having  been  previously  charged  alike  with  a  certain 
number  of  balls,  slugs,  or  whatever  was  most  conven- 
ient, as  agreed  upon.  The  posts  were  usually  placed 
eight  or  nine  yards  apart,  being  the  nearest  points 
from  which  the  combatants  might  fire.  If  neither 


VARIOUS  MODES  OF  FIGHTING.  13 1 

party  were  hit  during  one  course  tne  comoatants 
proceeded  to  a  second  ;  and  if  it  was  decided  to  con- 
tinue the  fight  after  the  pistols  were  discharged,  they 
then  either  finished  with  broadswords  on  horseback 
or  with  smallswords  on  foot." 

During  the  reign  of  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  Don 
Pedro  Velasco  and  Ponce  de  Leon  fought  a  fatal 
duel  on  horseback  on  a  narrow  causeway  near  Ma- 
drid, and  the  former  was  run  through  the  body  with 
a  silver-pointed  spear.  In  1589  the  young  Count  de 
Luz,  whose  father  had  been  killed  in  a  duel  by  the 
Duke  de  Guise,  challenged  the  Duke,  and  the  two 
noblemen  met  on  horseback  near  Paris,  the  Count 
mounted  on  a  white  palfry  and  De  Guise  on  a  black 
stallion.  The  combat  was  of  a  fierce  character,  and 
was  concluded  by  the  Duke  seizing  the  sword  arm  of 
the  Count,  forcing  it  backwards  and  plunging  his 
own  sword  clear  to  its  hilt  through  the  neck  of  his 
antagonist,  who  fell  from  his  saddle  dead.  In  1603 
Sir  Mathew  Brown,  of  Beachwood  Castle  (England), 
and  Sir  John  Townshend,  a  distinguished  member  of 
the  first  parliament  of  James  L,  met  at  Hounslow 
Heath,  and  fought  a  desperate  battle  on  horseback, 
during  which  each  inflicted  upon  the  other  mortal 
wounds,  Sir  Mathew  expiring  upon  the  field  and  his 
antagonist  dying  as  he  was  being  conveyed  to  his 
home.  Two  young  men  (cousins),  named  Austin 
Guthrie  and  Franklin  Meyers,  near  Black  Creek 
(Arkansas),  who  were  rivals  for  the  affections  of  a 
young  lady  of  the  same  town,  early  in  the  month  of 
August,  1883,  at  first  quarrelled  and  then  proceeded 
to  blows.  In  a  short  time  afterward  they  met  on 
horseback,  according  to  agreement,  to  fight  it  out  ; 
and  as  soon  as  they  closed  they  drew  their  knives 


132  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

and  commenced  a  contest  which  lasted  ten  or  twelve 
minutes,  at  the  end  of  which  time  each  had  been 
fatally  hurt.  Both  were  horribly  cut  about  the  head 
and  body,  Meyers'  left  arm  having  been  nearly 
severed.  The  combatants  evidently  fainted,  and 
then  fell  from  their  horses  ;  and,  although  conscious 
when  found,  soon  afterward  expired.  One  of  the 
most  interesting  duels  of  this  character  was  that 
fought  by  Colonel  Jonah  Barrington  and  a  Mr.  Gil- 
bert, at  Maryborough  (Ireland),  in  1759,  the  story  of 
which  is  felicitously  told  by  Sir  Jonah  Barrington  (a 
grandson  of  Mr.  Gilbert's  antagonist),  as  follows  : 

My  grandfather  and  Mr.  Gilbert  had  an  irreconcilable 
grudge ;  I  forget  the  cause,  but  I  believe  it  was  a  very  silly 
one.  It  increased,  however,  every  day,  and  the  relatives  of 
both  parties  found  it  must  inevitably  end  in  a  combat, 
which,  were  it  postponed  till  the  sons  of  each  grew  up, 
might  be  enlarged,  perhaps,  from  an  individual  into  a  regu- 
lar family  engagement.  It  was  therefore  thought  better 
that  the  business  should  be  ended  at  once;  and  it  was 
decided  that  they  should  fight  on  horseback,  on  the  green 
of  Maryborough;  that  the  ground  should  be  one  hundred 
yards  of  race,  and  eight  of  distance ;  the  weapons  of  each, 
two  holster-pistols,  a  broad-bladed  but  not  very  long  sword 
(I  have  often  seen  my  grandfather's)  with  basket-handle, 
and  a  skeen,  or  long,  broad-bladed  dagger ;  the  pistols  to  be 
charged  with  one  ball  and  swandrops.  The  entire  country, 
for  miles  around,  attended  to  see  the  combat,  which  had 
been  six  months  settled  and  publicly  announced,  and  the 
county  trumpeter,  who  attended  the  judges  at  the  assizes, 
was  on  the  ground.  My  grandfather's  second  was  a  Mr. 
Lewis  Moore,  of  Cremorgan,  whom  I  well  recollect ;  Gil- 
bert's was  one  of  his  own  name  and  family — a  captain  of 
cavalry.  All  due  preliminaries  being  arranged,  the  country 
collected  and  placed  as  at  a  horse-race,  and  the  ground  kept 
free  by  the  gamekeepers  and  huntsmen  mounted,  the  com- 


r A  RIO  us  MODES  OF  FIGHTING.          133 

batants  started,  and  galloped  toward  each  other.  Both  fired 
before  they  reached  the  nearest  spot,  and  missed.  The 
second  course  was  not  so  lucky.  My  grandfather  received 
many  of  Gilbert's  shot  full  in  his  face;  the  swandrops  pene- 
trated no  deeper  than  his  temple  and  cheek  bones ;  the 
large  bullet  fortunately  passed  him.  The  wounds  not  being 
dangerous,  only  enraged  old  Jonah  Harrington ;  and  the 
other  being  equally  willing  to  continue  the  conflict,  a  fierce 
battle,  hand  to  hand,  ensued ;  but  I  should  think  they  did 
not  close  too  nearly,  or  how  could  they  have  escaped  with 
life?  My  grandfather  got  three  cuts,  which  he  used  to  ex- 
hibit with  great  glee ;  one  on  the  thick  of  the  right  arm,  a 
second  on  his  bridle-arm,  and  a  third  on  the  inside  of  the 
left  hand.  His  hat,  which  he  kept  to  the  day  of  his  death, 
was  also  sliced  in  several  places ;  but  both  had  iron  scull- 
caps  under  their  hats,  which  probably  saved  their  brains 
from  remaining  upon  the  green  of  Maryborough.  Gilbert 
had  received  two  pokes  from  my  grandfather  on  his  thigh 
and  his  side,  but  neither  dangerous.  I  fancy  he  had  the 
best  of  the  battle,  being  as  strong  as,  and  less  irritable  than, 
my  grandfather,  who,  I  suspect,  grew  toward  the  last  a  little 
ticklish  on  the  subject — for  he  rushed  headlong  at  Gilbert, 
and  instead  of  striking  at  his  person,  thrust  his  broadsword 
into  the  horse's  body  as  often  as  he  could,  until  the  beast 
dropped  with  his  rider  underneath  him  ;  my  grandfather 
then  leaped  off  his  horse,  threw  away  his  sword,  and  putting 
his  skeen,  or  broad  dagger,  to  the  throat  of  Gilbert,  told  him 
to  ask  his  life  or  die,  as  he  must  do  either  one  or  the  other 
in  half  a  minute.  Gilbert  said  he  would  ask  his  life  only 
upon  the  terms  that,  without  apology  or  conversation,  they 
should  shake  hands  heartily  and  be  future  friends  and  com- 
panions, and  not  leave  the  youths  of  two  old  families  to 
revenge  their  quarrel  by  slaughtering  each  other.  These 
terms  being  quite  agreeable  to  my  grandfather,  as  they 
breathed  good  sense,  intrepidity,  and  good  heart,  he  ac- 
quiesced ;  and  from  that  time  they  were  the  most  intimately 
attached  and  joyous  friends  and  companions  of  the  county 
they  resided  in. 


134  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

There  have  been  quite  a  number  of  duels  fought  in 
the  air — all  but  one,  however  (that  between  M.  de 
Grandpre  and  M.  de  Pique,  near  Paris,  May  3,  1808, 
in  which  the  latter  was  killed),  so  far  as  our  informa- 
tion goes,  having  grown  out  of  reconnoissances  by 
military  aeronauts,  a  description  of  which  is  pre- 
sented in  Cassell's  "  Illustrated  History  of  the 
Franco-German  War,"  as  follows  : 

Few  balloon  voyages  can  compare,  for  exciting  and  peril- 
ous incidents,  with  one  which  was  performed  at  the  time  of 
the  siege  of  Paris,  by  the  well-known  M.  Nadar.  That  gen- 
tleman left  Tours  for  Paris  with  government  dispatches  at 
six  in  the  morning.  At  eleven  he  was  within  view  of  the 
capital,  and,  while  floating  about  three  thousand  metres 
above  Fort  Charenton,  a  second  balloon  was  observed  on  the 
horizon.  M.  Nadar  at  once  displayed  the  French  flag,  and 
the  other  responded  by  exhibiting  the  same  colors.  Gradu- 
ally the  two  balloons  approached  one  another,  being  drawn 
in  the  same  direction  by  the  same  current  of  air.  When 
they  were  separated  by  only  a  short  distance,  several  explo- 
sions were  heard.  The  strange  aeronaut  continued  to  fire 
shots  at  M.  Nadar's  balloon,  the  Intrepide,  which  began  to 
descend  rapidly.  The  French  flag  had  by  this  time  been 
taken  in  by  the  other  balloon,  and  the  Prussian  colors  were 
exhibited  instead.  Those  who  were  watching  the  affair 
from  the  French  below,  and  who  now  saw  the  character  and 
object  of  the  pursuer,  cried  out  that  Nadar  was  lost.  But 
they  were  mistaken.  He  had  scrambled  from  the  car  up 
the  network  of  the  balloon,  on  the  first  shot  from  the 
enemy,  apparently  to  stop  a  hole  made  in  the  tissue ;  and  he 
now  descended  as  the  balloon  righted  itself,  and,  on  a  quan- 
tity of  ballast  being  thrown  out,  again  rose  high  into  the  air. 
Shots  were  then  fired  in  rapid  succession  from  the  Intrepide 
into  the  Prussian  balloon,  which  suddenly  sank  to  the  earth 
with  headlong  rapidity.  On  reaching  the  ground  a  detach- 
ment of  Uhlans,  who  had  watched  the  combat  from  the 


VARIOUS  MODES  OF  FIGHTING.  135 

plain,  picked  up  the  fallen  aeronaut,  and  rode  off  to  the 
Prussian  outposts.  M.  Nadar  then  descended  in  safety  at 
Charenton. 

What  may  properly  be  termed  artillery  duels  (on 
land  and  on  sea)  are  inevitable  occurrences,  nowa- 
days, during  the  progress  of  wars.  The  engagement 
of  the  Federal  war  vessel  Kearsarge  (Captain  Wins- 
low),  and  the  Confederate  war  steamer  Alabama 
(Admiral  Semmes),  off  Cherbourg  (France),  June 
19,  1864,  may  be  referred  to,  perhaps,  as  one  of  the 
most  brilliant  and  magnificent  naval  duels  between 
wooden  vessels  of  the  present  age,  both  as  regards 
preparation  for  and  performance  during  action;  while 
a  no  less  conspicuous  and  much  more  important 
"affair"  was  the  "hostile  meeting"  in  Hampton  Roads 
(Virginia),  March  9,  1862,  of  the  little  Ericsson 
Monitor  (Captain  Worden)  and  the  formidable  Con- 
federate ram  Merrimack  (Captain  Buchanan),  just  a 
short  time  after  the  latter  had  destroyed  the  Federal 
war-vessels  Congress  and  Cumberland.  Undoubtedly 
the  most  desperate  and  bloody  encounter  which  can 
be  referred  to  was  that  during  the  American  Revolu- 
tion between  the  Bonhomme  Richard  (Paul  Jones,  of 
the  U.  S.  Navy),  and  the  Serapis  (Captain  Pearson,  of 
the  British  Fleet),  a  part  of  the  engagement  being 
"  yard-arm  to  yard-arm."  This  was  a  naval  duel  in 
every  sense  of  the  word.  In  this  connection  may  be 
mentioned  the  fact  that  Stephen  Decatur,  U.  S.  N., 
challenged  Sir  Thomas  Hardy,  of  the  British  Navy, 
during  the  war  of  1812,  to  meet  the  United  States  and 
Macedonian  with  the  frigates  Endymion  and  Statira, 
which  Hardy  declined,  although  that  officer,  in  turn, 
proposed  to  fight  the  Macedonian  with  the  Statira, 
which  proposal,  however,  was  not  acceptable  to  the 


136  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

gallant  Decatur.  The  most  notable  as  well  as  the 
most  desperate  affair  between  ironclads  was  the  fight 
in  1879  between  the  Peruvian  Htiascar  and  the 
Chilian  Admiral  Cochrane,  during  which  the  former 
was  whipped  and  captured.  Previous  to  this  engage- 
ment the  Huascar  (Don  Miguel  Grau)  had  met  and 
sunk  the  Chilian  Esmeralda  (a  wooden  vessel  com- 
manded by  Don  Arturo  Pratt)  in  an  encounter — off 
Iquique  (Chili),  May  21,  1879 — the  particulars  of 
which  have  been  glowingly  described  by  a  number  of 
English  and  Spanish  writers.  During  the  civil  war 
in  the  United  States,  artillery  duels  were  very  fre- 
quent between  Federal  and  Confederate  batteries — 
conspicuously  so  in  Charleston  harbor  and  near 
Vicksburg;  and  also  in  front  of  Atlanta,  Richmond, 
and  Corinth,  and  at  many  other  strategic  points  in 
our  country  made  historic  during  four  years  of  war 
by  episodes  and  achievements  too  numerous  to 
chronicle  here.  From  the  time  of  the  Battle  of 
Shiloh  (April  6  and  7,  1862,  to  the  night  of  the 
evacuation  of  Corinth  (April  30,  1862),  and  from 
the  date  of  the  Battle  of  Peach-tree  Creek  (July  20, 
1864),  in  front  of  Atlanta,  to  the  Battle  of  Jonesboro' 
(August  31,  1864),  the  writer  saw  many  artillery 
duels  in  which  two  or  more  batteries  would  engage 
each  other  at  a  distance  of-  a  mile  or  more  apart  some- 
times for  several  hours,  when  otherwise  it  would  be 
as  quiet  in  camp  nearly  as  upon  a  Sabbath  in  some  of 
the  most  orderly  New  England  villages. 

There  are  many  other  modes  of  combat  which  may 
be  incidentally  mentioned,  but  which  hardly  come 
under  the  head  of  duelling,  however:  In  Persia  men 
meet  in  mortal  combat  armed  with  maces,  and  batter 
away  at  each  other  until  one  or  the  other  is  van- 


VARIOUS  MODES  OF  FIGHTING.  137 

quished.  Zulus  meet  in  mortal  combat  with  assegais. 
The  natives  of  Patagonia  fight  each  other  with  slings, 
carrying  round  stones  generally  weighing  a  pound 
each,  which  they  hurl  with  tremendous  force  and  with 
remarkable  accuracy.  Prize-fighting,  or  boxing, 
originated  among  the  Romans,  and  combatants  often 
met  each  other  wearing  gloves  loaded  with  metal,  and 
generally  with  fatal  consequences.  In  Tuscany, 
Florence,  Sienna,  Vicenza,  Pisa,  and  Leghorn,  up  to  a 
late  day,  certain  classes  met  either  with  armed  or  un- 
armed fists  to  settle  their  disturbances.  During  the 
early  part  of  the  eighteenth  century  one  Figg  taught 
cudgelling  and  pugilism  in  London;  and  Broughton, 
who  succeeded  Figg,  educated  men  for  the  prize-ring, 
and  is  known  to-day  throughout  England  as  the 
father  of  the  English  school  of  boxing. 

"  Pfcrring"  (shin-kicking),  which  originated  in 
Wales,  is  practised  a  good  deal  at  the  present  day 
among  the  coal-miners  of  Pennsylvania.  A  Philadel- 
phia correspondent  of  the  New  York  Sttnday  Mercury 
presented  to  that  paper  an  extended  account  of  a 
"purr"  which  took  place  at  Port  Richmond  (Penn.), 
in  January,  1883,  from  which  is  taken  a  description  of 
the  first  two  rounds: 

At  two  o'clock  the  men  appeared,  wearing  Lancashire 
shoes  toed  with  copper,  having  submitted  their  feet  for  in- 
spection to  show  that  there  were  no  protruding  nails,  and 
James  gave  the  word  to  purr.  Grabby  advanced  cautiously, 
and  appeared  to  forget  about  the  shoulder-straps  until  his 
second  reminded  him  of  it.  He  took  hold  with  apparent 
unwillingness,  and  then  began  the  most  brutal  and  savage 
contest  that  two  men  could  engage  in.  For  fully  five  min- 
utes they  sparred  with  their  feet  in  a  manner  that  was  sim- 
ply wonderful.  Blows  were  countered  and  returned  with  the 


13$  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

same  skill  and  rapidity  as  shown  by  men  fighting  with  their 
fists.  Not  once  in  that  time  did  either  man  more  than  touch 
his  opponent's  skin.  Then  McTevish,  taking  a  firmer  hold 
on  his  opponent's  collar,  lifted  his  left  foot  and,  after  keep- 
ing it  poised  for  a  moment,  make  a  straight  toe  kick  for  his 
opponent's  right  knee.  Grabby  deftly  avoided  the  blow  by 
spraddling  his  legs  far  apart,  and  with  almost  inconceivable 
quickness  brought  his  left  foot  around  and  caught  McTevish 
on  the  outside  of  the  right  calf.  The  flesh  was  laid  open 
almost  to  the  bone,  and  the  blood  spurted  out  in  streams. 
McTevish  never  uttered  a  word.  At  the  same  instant  that 
his  own  leg  was  cut  he  gave  Grabby  what  is  known  as  a  sole 
scrape.  Beginning  at  the  instep  and  ending  just  below  the 
knee-pan,  Grabby 's  left  shin  was  scraped  almost  clear  of  skin. 
Both  men  were  evidently  in  pain,  and  angry.  They  kicked 
and  countered  a  dozen  times  again  without  doing  any  dam- 
age. Then  Grabby,  by  some  mishap,  lost  his  hold  on  his 
opponent's  shoulder-strap.  In  attempting  to  grasp  it  again 
he  lifted  his  eyes  for  a  moment,  and  before  he  could  ^cover 
himself  the  calves  of  both  his  legs  were  laid  open  by  a 
double-foot  kick.  In  return  for  this  he  succeeded  in  deliver- 
ing a  terrific  kick  on  McTevish's  knee,  causing  him  to  drop 
to  the  ground  like  a  log,  pulling  the  other  kicker  on  top  of 
him.  The  seconds  rushed  forward  and  separated  the  men 
and  took  them  to  their  corners  to  bind  up  their  wounds. 
The  first  go  or  round  occupied  sixteen  minutes.  When  the 
call  of  purr  came  again  the  purrers  hobbled  to  the  centre  and 
took  another  hold.  They  were,  indeed,  a  pitiable-looking 
pair.  McTevish's  legs,  although  bound  up  in  plaster,  were 
bleeding  freely,  and  the  exposed  places  looked  like  beef- 
steak. His  opponent's  shins  had  been  both  scraped  clean  of 
the  flesh,  and  the  blood  was  oozing  out  from  between  the 
strips  of  plaster.  Without  any  preliminary  sparring  Grabby 
made  a  vicious  straight  kick  at  his  opponent's  lame  knee, 
bringing  him  to  grass  again  before  he  had  time  to  think. 

The  "  forehead  fight,"  a  brutal   combat  inherited 
from  the  old   Turks,  still  survives  in   some  districts 


VARIOUS  MODES  OF  FIGHTING.  139 

among  the  Tartars  of  the  Crimea.  A  duel  of  this 
savage  kind,  says  some  writer,  took  place  a  short 
time  ago  in  a  Crimean  village.  The  report  of  it  is 
given  by  a  physician  who  was  called  to  attend  the 
defeated  combatant.  The  two  foes  take  their  stand 
at  measured  distance  from  each  other,  with  their 
heads  bent  forward;  then  at  a  given  signal  they  rush 
at  one  another,  butting  forehead  against  forehead, 
like  two  goats.  The  remainder  of  the  duel  is  fought 
wholly  with  the  forehead;  neither  blows  nor  kicks  are 
permitted,  as  the  man  who  uses  any  weapon  except 
his  forehead  is  disgraced.  In  the  recent  duel  blood 
streamed  from  the  forehead  of  both  the  semi-savages; 
nevertheless,  they  continued  butting  at  each  other 
with  ferocious  passion,  until  at  length  one  of  them 
fell  exhausted  to  the  earth.  He  gathered  up  all  his 
remaining  strength  to  draw  his  knife  from  his  girdle, 
and  with  one  determined  stroke  he  cut  a  wide  gash 
across  his  throat.  The  physician  states  that  the  act 
of  suicide  on  the  part  of  the  beaten  man  is  to  be  re- 
garded as  a  direct  consequence  of  the  injury  done  by 
the  fearful  concussion  of  the  brain. 

The  forehead  fight  (or  butting)  is  largely  practiced 
by  low  negroes  in  America  and  England,  while  the 
higher  grade  of  colored  persons  settle  their  differences 
with  the  razor.  Negro  barbers,  coachmen,  servants, 
waiters,  traders,  restaurant-keepers,  stevedores,  dan- 
dies and  sports  throughout  the  United  States  carry 
the  razor  as  an  implement  of  warfare,  just  as  many 
white  men  carry  the  pistol  or  knife. 

The  Chicago  News  lately  had  an  interview  with  a 
negro  policeman  touching  the  razor  as  a  weapon,  thus: 

The  razor  is  becoming  an  obsolete  weapon  among  the  black 
people  on  the  levee,  said  a  colored  officer  of  the  Harrison 


I4O  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Street  police  station.  The  young  bloods  have  mostly  de- 
parted from  the  traditions  of  the  plantation,  and  now  if  one 
of  them  wants  to  "  get  even"  with  anybody  he  generally  pro- 
vides himself  with  a  revolver.  Of  course  it  doesn't  follow 
that  he  attempts  to  do  any  shooting.  Frequently  he  merely 
carries  it  around  in  his  pocket  and  brags  about  it,  and  shows 
it  to  his  friends  in  the  saloons.  After  a  few  days  he  pawns 
it  or  gets  arrested  for  carrying  a  concealed  weapon.  No,  the 
old  days  of  carving  cutlets  out  of  a  man  with  a  razor  have 
nearly  gone  by.  Two  or  three  times  a  year,  maybe,  some 
particularly  vicious  black  man  slices  somebody  with  a  dozen 
gashes  each  a  foot  long,  but  that  sort  of  thing  isn't  consid- 
ered good  form  nowadays.  How  did  colored  people  come  to 
adopt  the  razor  as  a  weapon  ?  Well,  the  slaves  on  the  plan- 
tations were  generally  not  allowed  to  own  guns  or  pistols. 
It  was  against  the  law  for  any  one  to  sell  them  ammunition. 
Many  of  them  could  get  razors  easily.  They  got  accustomed 
to  carrying  razors,  and  many  of  those  who  moved  north, 
after  the  war,  brought  razors  in  their  pockets,  sleeves,  or 
stowed  away  in  the  legs  of  their  boots.  To  carry  razors  had 
become  a  sort  of  a  tradition  with  the  bloodthirsty  ones. 
How  is  an  attack  made  with  a  razor?  Rough-and-tumble, 
any  way  to  get  there.  If  the  man  who  is  attacked  doesn't 
turn  and  run,  he  gets  slashed  in  the  face  and  arms,  or  both. 
If  he  tries  to  run  away  he  is  likely  to  get  a  rake  in  the  back 
which  will  lay  open  the  flesh  so  wide  that  the  surgeon  can 
look  through  the  man's  ribs  into  his  interior  like  a  small  boy 
peeping  through  the  pickets  of  an  orchard  fence.  A  razor  is 
a  terrible  weapon.  I  would  rather  face  a  revolver  than  one 
of  them  any  day. 

A  late  number  of  the  Sioux  City  Journal  presents 
the  following  description  of  a  duel  without  arms: 

One  of  the  most  remarkable  fights  on  record  occurred  re- 
cently between  Loveland  and  Honey  Creek,  two  small  sta- 
tions between  Missouri  Valley  and  Council  Bluffs,  on  the 
Chicago  and  Northwestern  Railroad.  Duggan  Points  and 
Will  Moss  engaged  in  a  mortal  combat  over  the  rival  claims 


VARIOUS  MODES  OF  FIGHTING.  141 

to  a  woman.  Points  was  killed,  and  Moss  is  supposed  to  be 
mortally  injured.  The  fight  was  without  arms,  and  in  the 
presence  of  a  large  number  of  spectators,  who  permitted  the 
fearful  contest  to  go  on  until  it  terminated  in  the  death  of 
one  of  the  combatants.  The  particulars  of  the  brutal  affair 
were  not  fully  learned  by  the  parties  who  brought  the  news 
to  this  city  from  Missouri  Valley.  As  far  as  could  be  ascer- 
tained, it  appears  that  about  a  year  ago  a  young  woman 
named  Sallie  Craig,  living  between  Loveland  and  Honey 
Creek,  was  the  sweetheart  and  promised  bride  of  William 
Moss,  a  young  farmer  who  resided  in  Loveland.  In  a  few 
months  it  was  agreed  that  they  should  be  married.  Before 
the  wedding  day  arrived,  however,  trouble  arose  between  the 
lovers  over  the  somewhat  too  attentive  presence  of  Duggan 
Points,  also  a  young  farmer,  who  resided  near  Honey  Creek. 
Moss  and  the  girl  quarrelled  and  separated,  and  his  rival 
was  thereafter  for  a  time  her  beau.  Subsequently  the  first 
lover  and  the  girl  met  again  and  partially  made  up  their 
differences.  This  enraged  Points,  who  had  come  to  regard 
her  as  his  own,  and  he  sought  to  pick  a  quarrel  with  Moss 
and  in  some  way  get  an  excuse  for  putting  his  hated  rival 
out  of  the  way.  The  men  met  on  two  occasions  during  the 
past  three  months,  and  each  time  had  a  quarrel,  and  would 
have  fought,  but  were  prevented  from  doing  much  damage 
by  the  circumstances  and  parties  who  separated  them.  At 
a  dance  about  ten  days  ago  the  rivals  again  met  and  came  to 
blows.  They  were  again  separated,  and  the  girl  was  appealed 
to  to  determine  the  question  by  choosing  the  one  she  liked 
best.  She  was  unwilling  to  do  so,  but  said  she  would  go 
with  the  one  who  proved  himself  to  be  the  best  man.  It  was 
accordingly  agreed  that  a  time  and  place  should  be  fixed, 
and  there  the  men  should  fight  it  out,  the  one  who  was 
whipped  to  forever  relinquish  all  claims  to  the  hand  of  the 
cause  of  the  trouble.  The  dispute  by  this  time  had  been  so 
widely  talked  of  by  the  people  of  both  Loveland  and  Honey 
Creek  that  a  natural  jealousy  between  the  two  places  easily 
caused  the  citizens  of  each  to  take  sides.  The  place  of  the 
fight  was  agreed  upon  as  half  way  between  the  respective 


142  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

residents.  A  man  from  Loveland  seconded  Moss,  and 
Points'  brother  acted  as  his  second.  The  fight  was  not  to  be 
conducted  according  to  any  specified  rules,  but  in  the  most 
approved  rough-and-tumble  style.  About  sixty  people  were 
on  the  ground,  among  whom  was  the  girl  over  whom  the 
contest  was  caused,  to  witness  the  brutal  affair.  The  seconds 
stood  with  cocked  revolvers  in  hand  and  warned  no  one  to 
interfere.  The  men  commenced  fighting  fiercely.  They 
used  fists,  heels  and  teeth;  and  in  clinching  and  tumbling 
about  rolled  over  a  large  area  of  ground.  The  fight  lasted 
fifty-five  minutes,  and  throughout  was  one  of  the  most  brutal 
character.  It  was  brought  to  a  fatal  conclusion  by  Points' 
strength  entirely  giving  way,  and  then  Moss,  with  the  last 
efforts  of  his  madness,  stamped  upon  his  prostrate  foe  and 
crushed  in  his  breast  and  kicked  in  his  head.  The  specta- 
tors at  this  overpowered  the  seconds  and  dragged  the  men 
apart.  Points  was  dying  when  picked  up,  and  expired  soon 
afterward.  Moss  had  been  severely  bitten  by  his  antagonist, 
having  had  two  fingers,  an  ear,  and  his  nose  taken  off,  and 
was  in  a  deplorable  condition  from  other  injuries. 

Tournaments  (or  mock  duels)  seem  to  have  origi- 
nated in  Germany  during  the  year  819,  and  were  first 
introduced  to  dramatically  commemorate  important 
royal  or  military  events,  but  soon  degenerated  to  such 
an  extent  that  they  were  rigidly  prohibited  by  Church 
and  State.  From  noo  to  1605  the  tournament  among 
the  French  was  most  popular,  although  it  commenced 
to  decline  after  the  death  of  Henry  II.,  in  1559.  This 
monarch,  who  excelled  in  every  exercise  of  chivalry, 
was  peculiarly  fond  of  tournaments,  and  gave  a  splen- 
did succession  of  them  at  Paris  on  the  marriage  of  his 
daughter  to  Philip  II.,  King  of  Spain.  The  lists  ex- 
tended from  the  Palace  of  Tournelles  to  the  Bastile, 
across  the  street  of  St.  Antoine.  During  the  first  two 
days  the  king  broke  several  lances  with  lords  of  his 


VARIOUS  MODES  OF  FIGHTING.  143 

court,  in  ail  of  which  he  showed  extraordinary  vigor 
and  address.  On  the  third  day  of  the  tournaments 
(June  30,  1559),  towards  the  close  of  the  evening, 
and  before  the  conclusion,  Henry  betrayed  a  great 
inclination  to  try  his  prowess  against  the  Count  de 
Montgomeri,  Captain  of  his  Life  Guards,  who  had 
formerly  wounded  Francis  I.,  and  was  distinguished 
for  his  superior  address  and  tact  in  combats  of  this 
character  above  any  nobleman  in  the  kingdom. 
Catherine  de  Medicis  entreated  the  king  not  to  re- 
enter  the  lists,  but  he  resisted  her  solicitations,  saying 
that  he  would  break  one  lance  more  in  her  honor. 
Montgomeri  accepted  the  challenge  with  great  reluc- 
tance; Henry,  however,  commanded  him  to  obey,  and 
even  fought  with  his  vizor  raised;  but  authors  are 
not  quite  agreed  whether  it  was  raised  intentionally 
or  flew  open  by  a  blow  from  Montgomeri's  lance  in 
an  encounter  which  was  so  violent  that  the  count's 
lance  broke  against  the  king's  helmet.  The  former 
then  fought  with  the  stump  which  remained  in  his 
hand,  and  with  it  had  the  misfortune  to  strike  the 
king  so  violent  a  blow  under  the  eye  as  threw  him  to 
the  ground,  and  deprived  him  instantly  of  both 
speech  and  understanding,  though  he  lived  eleven 
days  afterward.  This  sad  circumstance  occasioned 
the  decline  of  tournaments  in  France,  while  the 
wounding  of  Francis  de  Bassompierre  by  the  Duke  of 
Guise,  in  1605,  brought  about  its  total  suppression. 
Tournaments  were  introduced  into  England  during 
the  reign  of  Stephen,  in  1135,  and  were  very  popular 
among  English  and  Scotch  noblemen  for  several  hun- 
dred years,  during  which  time  many  illustrious  persons 
lost  their  lives.  It  was  finally  suppressed  in  England 
in  1600.  Tournaments  were  very  popular  in  the  States 


144  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

of  Maryland,  Virginia,  and  South  Carolina  as  late  as 
1851,  but  were  never  maintained  with  that  reckless- 
ness and  chivalric  display  which  characterized  their 
existence  in  European  countries.  Quite  a  number  of 
tournaments  were  given  at  Santa  Monica  (Cal.),  in 
1874-5,  similar  to  those  given  in  Maryland  and  Vir- 
ginia twenty-five  years  before.  Jousts  differ  from 
tournaments  not  essentially,  except  that  the  latter 
were  always  understood  to  be  friendly  engagements, 
or  mock  duels,  while  the  former  were  generally  hos- 
tile encounters  by  mounted  lancers,  intent  on  inflict- 
ing serious  or  mortal  wounds. 

We  cannot  dismiss  this  portion  of  our  subject  with- 
out referring  to  the  duels  of  fiction  and  of  the  stage — 
many  of  which,  however,  are  not  purely  fictitious, 
being  founded  on  historical  incidents  and  anecdotes. 
There  is  nothing  more  exciting  or  delightful  in  the 
whole  catalogue  of  Thespian  entertainments  than  a 
stage  duel;  from  the  "  blood-and-thunder"  broad- 
sword combat  in  the  "  French  Spy,"  which  so  enlivens 
the  "gods,"  to  the  artistic  encounter  with  foils  in  the 
"  Corsican  Brothers,"  which  never  fails  to  entrance 
even  the  most  genteel  theatre-goers.  Shakespeare,  the 
greatest  of  all  dramatic  writers,  presents  many  scenes 
of  mortal  combats  in  his  plays;  and  in  our  mind's 
eye  we  can  now  see  the  little  sleepy  atom  of  humanity 
in  the  old  Bowery  pit — tired  to  death,  nearly,  of  the 
long  speeches  in  Richard  III. — entreating  the  more 
robust  urchin  at  his  side  to  "Wake  me  up  when  Kirby 
dies."  Bulwer's  "  Claude  Melnotte"  makes  neat  but 
short  and  entertaining  work  of  the  suspecting  "  Col- 
onel Damas,"  while  Ned  Adams' duel  in  the  "Dead 
Heart"  was  simply  matchless,  and  was  worth  sitting 
the  whole  play  through  to  see.  "Led  Astray,"  "Ca- 


VARIOUS  MODES  OF  FIGHTING.  14$ 

milla's  Husband,"  "  Frou-Frou,"  and  "  Les  Horaces" 
all  contain  splendid  duelling  scenes;  and  those  who 
have  witnessed  Forrest,  Booth,  Murdoch,  Scott,  Perry, 
Eddy,  McDonough,  Adams,  Sullivan,  Kean,  Daven- 
port, Wheatley,  Fechter — or  even  Barrett,  Keene,  or 
McCullough — in  Shakespearean  and  other  stage  duels, 
have  received  impressions  which  will  forever  remain 
upon  their  minds.  Descriptions  and  engravings  of 
duels  in  fictitious  works,  while  they  are  not,  of  course, 
so  exciting  or  so  impressive  as  stage  encounters,  are 
generally  very  delightful  reading,  and  are  seldom 
"  skipped."  And  it  is  a  noteworthy  fact  that  there 
are  but  few  authors  of  fiction  of  note  who  have  not 
embellished  their  productions  with  scenes  of  mortal 
combat,  of  a  character  purely  imaginary  or  other- 
wise— conspicuously,  Sue,  "Sand,"  "  Ouida,"  Dumas, 
Miihlbach,  Bulwer,  Marryatt,  Thackeray,  D'Israeli, 
Scott,  Lever,  Irving,  Cooper,  James,  and  many  other 
charming  romancers. 

"  Comedy  and  Tragedy,"  the  new  play  which  W. 
S.  Gilbert  has  written  for  Miss  Anderson,  is  essen- 
tially a  one-part  piece,  and  is  founded  on  a  story 
which  Mr.  Gilbert  wrote  for  Routledge's  Christmas 
Annual  for  the  year  1869.  The  heroine  is  Celine,  wife 
of  Phillip  de  Quillac,  an  actor  of  the  Theatre  Francais, 
in  the  year  1745.  Celine  was  an  actress,  and  captivated 
the  Due  de  Richelieu,  who  tries  to  have  her  abducted, 
but  fails.  The  main  incidents  of  the  drama  turn 
upon  a  duel  scene.  Her  husband  and  Richelieu  are 
fighting  in  the  garden  while  she  is  entertaining  a 
number  of  friends  with  specimens  of  her  powers  as  an 
actress.  She  imitates  "comedy"  while  the  clashing 
of  swords  is  heard  in  the  garden,  and  suddenly  be- 
comes alarmed,  fearing  that  her  husband  will  be 


146  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

killed.  She  pleads  to  them  to  save  her  husband. 
They  think  she  is  playing  tragedy  and  applaud  her, 
and  the  more  earnestly  and  terribly  she  begs  of  them 
to  save  her  husband,  the  more  they  applaud  her  "act- 
ing" of  tragedy,  as  they  think  it  is.  At  last  one  of 
the  company  sees  that  she  is  in  earnest  and  opens  the 
door  to  go  to  the  scene  of  the  fight,  when  her  hus- 
band stands  before  her  uninjured,  and  informs  her 
that  the  Due  de  Richelieu  is  wounded  to  the  death. 


CLERGYMEN  AND    WOMEN.  147 


CHAPTER  VIII. 
CLERGYMEN  AND  WOMEN. 

English  Clergymen — A  Buccaneer  Parson  and  his  Duel — Atti- 
tudes of  Other  "  Holy  Men" — A  Brilliant  but  Unfortunate 
Preacher — Duelling  among  Women — Desperate  Duel  between 
the  Countess  of  Polignac  and  Lady  de  Nesle  at  Versailles — 
Two  Ladies  of  Quality  Fight  at  Paris — Other  Affairs  among 
Women — Heroism  of  the  Countess  de  St.  Belmont  —  The 
Heroic  Agnes  Hotot — Youthful  Affairs — White  and  Black — 
Brother  and  Sister — Men  and  Women. 

To  those  who  have  never  heard  of  such  a  thing, 
the  statement  that  ministers  of  the  Gospel  have  in- 
dulged in  the  polite  luxury  of  killing  their  fellow- 
beings  in  duels  will  cause  surprise.  But  such  is  the 
case;  and,  as  late  as  1799,  the  Reverend  Henry  Bate, 
an  Episcopal  minister,  had  fought  and  killed  three 
men  in  duels.  He  died  in  1824,  holding  a  high  posi- 
tion in  Ely  Cathedral,  England.  A  description  of 
this  man's  life  shows  him  to  have  been  a  brilliant  but 
profligate  fellow,  although  a  parson.  He  was  a  dead 
shot,  but  was  "  winged  "  at  last  by  Captain  Stoney 
Robinson,  who  was  also  dangerously  wounded  by 
the  unclerical  parson — a  lady  having  been  the  cause 
of  the  trouble.  In  1815  the  Reverend  Mr.  Bate  (or 
Dudley — as  he  had  taken  the  name  of  Dudley  in 
1784)  was  made  a  baronet.  Two  of  his  wrangles 
and  duels  were  over  actresses  and  another  on  ac- 
count of  articles  he  had  written  besmirching  the 


148  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

character  of  the  Countess  of  Strathmore.  In  1782  an 
Episcopal  minister  named  Bennett  Allen  challenged 
and  killed  a  Marylander  named  Lloyd  Dulany. 
The  duel  took  place  in  Hyde  Park,  London,  a  short 
time  before  midnight,  and  was  fought  with  pistols  at 
eight  paces.  Dulany  fell  to  the  ground  and  raised 
himself  almost  like  a  flash,  and  then  tottered  back- 
ward and  fell  into  the  arms  of  his  second,  Henry 
Delancy,  of  Hagerstown  (Md.),  mortally  wounded. 
The  difficulty  was  caused  by  the  publication  of 
anonymous  articles  in  a  London  newspaper  reflecting 
upon  Dulany  and  other  American  loyalists,  and  a 
subsequent  publication  of  a  card  in  the  same  paper 
calling  the  writer  of  the  articles  a  liar,  a  scoundrel, 
and  a  coward.  Allen  attempted  to  quit  the  country 
the  day  following  the  duel,  but  was  arrested,  and 
convicted  of  manslaughter,  and  sentenced  to  six 
months'  imprisonment  in  Newgate.  In  1764  the  Rev- 
erend Mr.  Thomas  Hill  was  challenged  by  Cornet 
Gardner,  of  the  "  Carabineers,"  for  ungentlemanly  con- 
duct, and  was  killed  at  the  first  shot. 

Perhaps  one  of  the  most  interesting  anecdotes  of 
these  Christian  fighters,  who  seem,  at  times,  to  have 
altogether  forgotten  the  Sermon  on  the  Mount,  is* 
the  one  about  Doctor  Blackburn,  who  was,  in  the 
early  part  of  his  life,  an  active  buccaneer  in  the  West 
Indies — for  even  buccaneers  could  not  do  without  a 
parson.  And  during  one  of  their  cruises,  as  the 
story  goes,  the  first  lieutenant,  having  a  dispute  with 
Blackburn,  told  him  that  if  it  were  not  for  his  gown 
he  should  treat  him  in  a  different  manner.  "Oho!" 
exclaimed  the  parson,  "  that  need  be  no  hindrance  ;" 
and,  stripping  off  the  garment,  he  added:  "Now  I 
am  your  man!"  At  this  it  was  agreed  that  they 


CLERGYMEN  AND    WOMEN.  149 

should  fight  on  a  small  island  near  where  their  ship 
lay,  and  that  the  one  who  fell  should  be  rolled  into 
the  sea  by  the  survivor,  that  it  might  seem  as  if, 
while  walking  on  the  cliff,  he  had  lost  his  footing 
and  tumbled  in.  The  lieutenant  fell,  to  all  appear- 
ance as  if  shot  dead.  Blackburn  at  once  rolled  the 
prostrate  man  down  the  cliff;  but,  just  as  they 
reached  the  last  shelf  of  the  declivity,  the  lieutenant 
recovered  sufficiently  to  cry  out,  "  For  God's  sake, 
hold  your  hand!"  "Aha!"  said  Blackburn,  "you 
called  just  in  time,  for  in  another  moment  you  would 
have  been  in  the  sea."  This  same  parson  and  buc- 
caneer was  afterward  made  Archbishop  of  York  ; 
and  when  Sir  Charles  Wager  heard  of  the  promotion 
he  said:  "What,  my  old  friend  Dr.  Blackburn  created 
Archbishop  of  York  ?  I  ought  to  have  been  preferred 
to  it  before  him,  for  I  was  the  elder  buccaneer  of  the 
two." 

Notwithstanding  the  many  edicts  issued  by  the 
Catholic  Church,  Cardinal  de  Retz  once  challenged 
a  priest  of  high  birth  at  the  altar.  It  is  said  of  this 
"holy  man"  that  he  was  one  of  the  most  noted  duel- 
lists of  the  seventeenth  century,  and  was  the  hero  of 
thirteen  hostile  meetings,  in  each  of  which  "there 
was  a  lady  in  the  case."  Cardinal  Norris  once  ac- 
cepted a  challenge  to  fight  a  noted  Jesuit  named 
Macedo,  in  the  forest  of  Boulogne,  but  the  meeting 
was  interfered  with  by  the  Pope;  and  Macedo,  it  is 
said,  nearly  died  from  grief  in  consequence.  Joachim 
Murat,  afterward  King  of  Naples,  and  one  of  the 
deadest  shots  that  ever  lived,  fought  his  first  duel 
while  occupying  a  high  ecclesiastical  position  as  the 
Abbe  Murat  —  the  cause  of  the  trouble  being  a 
pretty  maiden  of  Toulouse. 


THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

The  writer  has  no  knowledge  of  such  duelling 
scenes  among  American  clergymen,  although  he  has 
met  "members  of  the  cloth"  who  carried  pistols  and 
were  known  as  excellent  shots.  He  calls  to  mind  a 
young  Kentuckian,  of  most  profligate  habits,  who 
preached  at  St.  Athanasius'  Church,  in  Los  Angeles 
(Cal.),  in  1868,  who  could  whip  out  a  six-shooter  and 
knock  the  spots  out  of  the  six  of  diamonds  at  twenty 
yards,  or  ring  the  bell  at  a  shooting-gallery  with  a 
rifle  twelve  times  in  succession.  He  was  a  brilliant 
young  minister,  but  a  slave  to  intoxicants;  and  died 
from  the  effects  of  intemperance  shortly  after  having 
retired  from  the  rectorship  of  a  church  at  Elkhart 
(Ind.),  in  1879.  The  last  words  of  this  gifted  minis- 
ter— uttered  while  at  the  very  threshold  of  death — 
are  so  full  of  startling  pathos,  and  so  painfully  illus- 
trative of  the  course  of  so  many  who  have  looked  too 
frequently  upon  the  delicious  nectar  in  its  blush, 
that  we  present  it  here,  trusting  that  it  may  not  be 
without  its  lesson  to  those  who  are  too  heedless  of 
the  possible  consequences  of  too  much  "drink:" 

But  now  the  struggle  is  over.  I  can  survey  the  field  and 
measure  the  losses.  The  demon  tore  from  around  me  the 
robes  of  my  sacred  office  and  sent  me  out  churchless  and 
godless,  a  very  hissing  and  by-word  among  men.  After- 
wards I  had  business,  large  and  lucrative,  and  my  voice  was 
heard  in  many  courts  pleading  for  mercy,  justice  and  right. 
But  the  dust  soon  gathered  on. my  books  and  no  footfall 
crossed  the  threshold  of  the  drunkard's  office.  I  had 
money,  ample  for  all  necessities,  but  it  took  wings  and  went 
to  feed  the  coffers  of  the  devils  which  possessed  me.  I  had 
a  home  adorned  with  all  that  wealth  and  the  most  exquisite 
taste  could  do.  The  devil  crossed  its  threshold  and  the 
light  faded  from  its  chambers ;  the  fire  went  out  from  the 
the  holiest  of  altars,  and  leading  me  from  its  portals,  de- 


CLERGYMEN  AND    WOMEN.  151 

spair  walked  forth  with  me  and  sorrow  and  anguish  lingered 
within.  I  had  children  —  beautiful,  to  me,  at  least,  as  a 
dream  of  the  morning — and  they  had  so  entwined  them- 
selves around  their  father's  heart  that  no  matter  where  he 
might  wander,  ever  it  came  back  to  them  on  the  wings  of  a 
father's  undying  love.  The  destroyer  took  their  hands  in 
his  and  led  them  away.  I  had  a  wife  whose  charms  of  mind 
and  person  were  such  that  to  see  her  was  to  remember,  and 
to  know  her  was  to  love  her.  For  several  years  we  walked 
the  rugged  path  of  life  together  rejoicing  in  the  sunshine  and 
sorrowing  in  the  shade.  The  infernal  monster  would  not 
spare  me  even  this.  I  had  a  mother,  who  for  long  years 
had  not  left  her  chair,  a  victim  of  disease,  and  her  choicest 
delight  was  in  reflecting  that  the  lesson  taught  at  her  knee 
had  taken  root  in  the  heart  of  her  youngest  born  and  that 
he  was  useful  to  his  fellows  and  an  honor  to  her  who  bore 
him.  But  the  thunderbolt  even  reached  there,  and  there  it 
did  its  most  cruel  work.  Other  days  cured  all  but  this. 
Ah,  me !  never  a  word  of  reproach  from  her ;  only  a  tender 
caress,  only  a  shadow  of  a  great  unspoken  grief  gathered 
over  the  dear  old  face ;  only  a  trembling  hand  laid  more 
lovingly  upon  my  head,  only  a  closer  clinging  to  the  cross, 
only  a  piteous  appeal  to  Heaven  if  her  cup  was  at  last  full. 
And  while  her  boy  raged  in  his  wild  delirium  two  thousand 
miles  away,  the  pitying  angels  pushed  the  golden  gates  ajar, 
and  the  mother  of  the  drunkard  entered  into  rest.  And 
thus  I  stand,  a  clergyman  without  a  church,  a  barrister  with- 
out brief  or  business,  a  husband  without  a  wife,  a  son  with- 
out a  parent,  a  man  with  scarcely  a  friend,  a  soul  without 
hope — all  swallowed  up  in  the  maelstrom  of  drink ! 

If  women,  as  a  general  thing,  do  not  countenance 
and  have  never  countenanced,  modern  duelling,  and 
are  naturally  averse  to  all  systems  of  individual  com- 
bats— for  varied  and  sometimes  heroic  reasons — still 
they  have  their  womanly  sympathies  at  play,  either 
upon  one  side  or  the  other,  in  all  encounters  and  con- 


152  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

troversies  where  they  may  be  interested,  however 
trivial  or  majestic  the  difficulty  or  its  cause.  During 
the  existence  of  judicial  duelling  in  European  coun- 
tries, ladies  of  rank  were  always  to  be  found  among 
the  respectable  spectators,  and  there  have  been  in- 
stances of  the  presence  of  women  upon  hostile  fields 
since  the  prohibition  of  judicial  duels,  particularly  in 
Italy  and  France.  There  are  also  records  of  hostile 
encounters  between  women — conspicuous  among 
which  was  the  duel  with  pistols  between  Lady  de 
Nesle  and  the  Countess  of  Polignac  in  1721,  in  the 
gardens  of  Versailles  (France).  The  ladies  had  in- 
dulged in  a  most  disgraceful  quarrel  two  evenings 
before  at  a  grand  fete  at  the  Palace,  over  the  Due  de 
Richelieu — that  wondrous  character  in  the  history  of 
France — during  which  Lady  de  Nesle,  losing  all  con- 
trol of  herself,  had  sprung  like  a  tigress  upon  her 
rival,  and  attempted  to  tear  a  diamond  necklace  from 
the  Countess's  neck.  Failing  in  this,  however,  she 
snatched  the  blush  roses  from  their  nest  in  the  snowy 
bosom,  and  flung  them  in  the  face  of  her  rival.  Up 
to  this  time,  says  some  English  writer,  the  Countess 
of  Polignac  had  kept  down  by  a  powerful  effort  the 
mighty  rage  which  was  inwardly  consuming  her,  but 
this  last  indignity  destroyed  even  outward  calmness; 
and,  casting  aside  all  further  reserve,  she  attacked 
Lady  de  Nesle  in  the  same  way  she  herself  had  been 
assaulted.  In  a  moment  jewels  and  flowers  and  rib- 
bons and  kices  strewed  the  floor,  and  there  is  no  tell- 
ing to  what  extent  the  extraordinary  exhibition  would 
have  gone  had  not  the  enraged  amazons  been  sepa- 
rated by  the  Marquis  de  Malbuisson  and  Mademoi- 
selle Nathalie  de  Condacet.  Out  of  this  grew  the 
duel,  the  Countess  of  Polignac  being  the  challenging 


CLERGYMEN  AND    WOMEN.  153 

party.  The  ladies  met  at  six  in  the  morning,  in  July, 
1721,  and  fired  one  shot  at  each  other  without  effect. 
Their  seconds  (the  Marquis  de  Malbuisson  and  the 
Comte  de  Penthievre  for  Polignac  and  M.  de  Remusac 
and  Vicomte  D'Allagne  for  de  Nesle)  then  rushed  in 
to  prevent  further  hostilities;  the  fair  demons,  how- 
ever, would  not  be  appeased,  but  called  for  a  change 
of  pistols,  and  again  blazed  away — this  second  time 
with  satisfactory  effect,  for  the  Marchioness  fell  dan- 
gerously wounded  by  a  bullet  in  her  left  side,  while 
the  Countess  was  just  quietly  touched  in  an  ear. 

A  duel  took  place  at  Paris,  January  31,  1772, 
between  Mademoiselle  de  Guignes  and  Mademoiselle 
d'Aiguillon  (two  ladies  of  quality),  who  had  quar- 
relled about  precedency  at  a  soiree,  and  retired  to  a 
garden  adjacent  to  the  scene  of  disturbance,  and 
fought  with  knives  until  both  were  wounded — the 
former  in  the  arm  and  the  latter  in  the  neck.  It  is 
recorded  of  Mademoiselle  Moussin,  a  French  prima 
donna,  that,  after  killing  three  men  in  duels  in  the 
woods  near  Paris,  by  sword,  she  fatally  wounded  her 
fencing-master,  Serane,  and  fled  to  Brussels,  where 
she  domiciled  with  the  Elector  of  Bavaria  for  a  brief 
period.  Lola  Montez  was  also  skilful  with  both  pis- 
tol and  rapier,  but  it  does  not  appear  that  she  ever 
engaged  in  anything  of  a  hostile  character  above  the 
dignity  of  a  street  fight.  She  once  challenged  a  jour- 
nalist at  Grass  Valley,  Cal.,  to  meet  her  with  pistols 
according  to  prevailing  rules  governing  such  meet- 
ings ;  and,  upon  his  refusal  to  do  so,  thrashed  him 
with  a  cowhide  upon  a  public  street.  In  1845  she 
was  a  witness  in  the  trial  of  Mons.  Bouvallon  for 
killing  Mons.  Dujarier,  at  Paris,  and  said,  in  her  testi- 
mony: "  I  was  a  better  shot  than  Dujarier;  and,  if 


154  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 

Bouvallon  only  wanted  satisfaction,  I  would  have 
fought  him  myself."  Dujarier  was  the  friend  of  Lola 
Montez,  and  in  his  will  written  the  evening  before  his 
death  he  bequeathed  the  (afterwards)  Countess  of 
Lansfeldt  one  hundred  thousand  francs.  On  the  2ist 
of  August,  1777,  Mademoiselle  Leverrier  (a  young 
lady  of  good  family),  who  had  been  jilted  by  a  navy 
officer  named  Duprez,  met  the  latter  in  the  street  in 
Paris,  and  handed  him  a  pistol  and  told  him  to 
defend  himself;  at  the  same  time  she  drew  a  weapon 
and  shot  her  false  one  in  the  face,  while  he  discharged 
his  pistol  in  the  air.  An  extract  from  a  Georgia 
newspaper,  published  in  1817,  says: 

Last  week  a  point  of  honor  was  decided  between  two  ladies 
near  the  South  Carolina  line,  the  cause  of  the  quarrel  being 
the  usual  one — love.  The  object  of  the  rival  affections  of 
these  fair  champions  was  present  on  the  field  as  the  mutual 
arbiter  in  the  dreadful  combat,  and  he  had  the  grief  of 
beholding  one  of  the  suitors  for  his  favor  fall  dangerously 
wounded  before  his  eyes.  The  whole  business  was  managed 
with  all  the  decorum  and  inflexibility  usually  practised  on 
such  occasions,  and  the  conqueror  was  immediately  married 
to  the  innocent  second,  conformably  to  the  previous  condi- 
tions of  the  duel. 

A  Buffalo  (N.  Y.)  paper  of  August,  1853,  gives  an 
account  of  an  arrest  of  Catherine  Hurley  and  Jane 
Hall,  "who  had  met  on  the  toll-bridge  on  Ohio 
Street,  in  the  presence  of  a  vast  assemblage,  to  fight 
a  duel  with  Allen's  revolvers."  No  other  accounts  of 
similar  performances  have  come  under  the  observa- 
tion of  the  writer. 

A  very  interesting  anecdote,  however,  touching 
female  heroism,  may  be  related  of  the  Countess  de  St. 
Belmont :  When  M.  de  St.  Belmont,  who  defended  a 


CLERGYMEN  AND    WOMEN.  I$5 

feeble  fortress  against  the  arms  of  Louis  XIV.,  was 
taken  prisoner,  his  intrepid  wife,  Madame  la  Comtesse 
de  St.  Belmont,  who  was  of  a  most  heroic  disposition, 
still  remained  upon  the  estates  to  take  care  of  them. 
An  officer  of  cavalry  having  taken  up  his  quarters 
there  without  invitation,  Madame  de  St.  Belmont  sent 
him  a  very  civil  letter  of  complaint  on  his  ill-behavior, 
which  he  treated  with  contempt.  Piqued  at  this, 
she  resolved  he  should  give  her  satisfaction,  and  sent 
him  a  challenge,  which  she  signed  "  Le  Chevalier  de 
St.  Belmont."  The  officer  at  once  accepted  the  chal- 
lenge, and  repaired  to  the  place  appointed.  Madame 
de  Belmont  met  him  dressed  in  male  attire.  They 
immediately  drew  their  swords,  and  in  a  short  time 
the  heroine  disarmed  him,  when  she  said,  with  a 
gracious  smile  :  "  You  thought,  sir,  that  you  were 
fighting  the  Chevalier  de  St.  Belmont,  but  you  were 
mistaken ;  I  am  Madame  de  St.  Belmont.  I  return 
you  your  sword,  sir,  and  politely  beg  you  to  pay 
proper  respect  to  the  request  of  a  lady  in  future." 
The  heroic  woman  then  took  her  departure,  leaving 
the  vanquished  officer  covered  with  shame  and  con- 
fusion. 

The  most  singular  combat,  says  an  English  writer, 
by  which  arms  were  ever  gained,  was  one  which  hap- 
pened in  the  family  of  Hotot.  The  family  of  Dudley, 
in  Northamptonshire,  bears  for  a  crest  a  woman's 
head,  with  a  helmet  ;  her  hair  dishevelled,  and  her 
throat-latch  loose.  The  occasion  of  this  crest  was 
singular.  In  the  year  1390,  Hotot,  having  a  dispute 
with  one  Ringsdale,  about  the  title  to  a  piece  of  land, 
they  agreed  to  meet  on  the  disputed  ground,  and 
decide  it  by  combat.  On  the  day  appointed  Hotot 
was  laid  up  with  the  gout  ;  rather  than  he  should 


156  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

suffer  in  his  honor,  or  lose  his  land,  his  daughter 
Agnes  armed  herself  cap-a-pie,  mounted  her  father's 
steed,  and  went  to  meet  Ringsdale  at  the  place  ap- 
pointed. After  a  stubborn  fight  she  dismounted  her 
adversary,  and  when  he  was  on  the  ground  she 
loosened  her  throat-latch,  lifted  up  her  helmet,  and 
let  down  her  hair  upon  her  shoulders.  Agnes  after- 
wards married  into  the  Dudley  family  ;  and,  in  honor 
of  her  heroic  action,  her  descendants  have  always 
used  the  above-described  crest,  with  the  motto,  Galosa 
spes  salutis. 

Among  the  youthful  "affairs  of  honor,"  which  have 
been  settled  upon  the  field,  are  two  that  deserve 
mention  here  :  That  meeting  in  England,  in  1825,  by 
Cooper  (a  son  of  the  Earl  of  Shaftesbury)  and  Wood 
(a  nephew  of  the  Marquis  of  Londonderry),  who  first 
fought  with  swords,  and  then  with  their  fists,  until 
Cooper  was  killed  ;  and  that  affair  in  Poland,  in  1851, 
between  two  boys  aged  respectively  thirteen  and 
seventeen,  with  pistols,  in  which  the  former  was 
killed,  and  the  survivor  and  the  two  seconds,  aged 
fourteen  and  fifteen,  were  arrested,  tried,  and  ac- 
quitted. 

There  came  pretty  near  being  a  modification  of 
the  Virginia  code  during  the  political  campaign  of 
1883  in  that  State,  and  there  would  have  been, 
surely,  had  William  Flanagan — one  of  Senator  Ma- 
hone's  lieutenants — proceeded  as  promptly  to  an 
acceptance  of  the  cartel  of  defiance  sent  him  by 
the  negro  whom  he  had  assaulted  as  he  did  to  knock 
said  colored  man  and  brother  down  for  expressions 
of  political  difference.  It  has  been  stated  that  Sena- 
tor Mahone,  in  launching  his  readjuster  craft,  took  in 
the  Senegambian  as  a  social  equal  ;  and  the  point  is 


CLERGYMEN  AND    WOMEN.  1 57 

made,  therefore,  that  the  white  adherent  aforesaid 
committed  political  hari-kari  by  declining  to  meet  the 
colored  F.  F.  V.  on  the  "ground  of  race,  color,  and 
previous  condition  of  servitude."  The  New  York 
Times,  of  August  29,  1883,  discusses  this  slightly 
mixed  affair  felicitously,  thus  : 

The  quarrel  between  Mr.  William  Flanagan,  a  candidate 
for  the  Virginia  Legislature,  and  a  chivalrous  colored  person 
whose  name  is  not  yet  announced,  bids  fair  to  modify  the 
Virginia  code  of  honor.  Mr.  Flanagan,  having  knocked  the 
colored  man  down  for  differing  with  him  in  political  opinion, 
was  challenged  to  fight  a  duel  by  the  aggrieved  man  and 
brother.  Mr.  Flanagan  not  only  refused  to  fight  but  appealed 
to  the  law  for  protection.  Of  course,  Mr.  Flanagan  bases 
his  refusal  Jo  give  the  colored  man  the  satisfaction  of  a  gentle- 
man on  the  ground  that  the  code  is  silent  in  regard  to  colored 
challenges,  and  that  hence  a  challenge  sent  by  a  colored  man 
can  be  ignored.  But  it  is  always  open  to  a  colored  man 
whose  challenge  to  fight  is  treated  with  disdain  to  post  his 
enemy,  and  it  is  well  agreed  among  Virginia  gentlemen  that 
to  be  posted  is  worse  than  death.  In  case  Mr.  Flanagan  is 
posted,  his  only  course  will  be  to  have  a  difficulty  with  his 
enemy  and  shoot  him  on  sight.  But  where  is  the  difference 
between  a  difficulty  and  a  duel,  and  how  can  a  man  refuse  to 
fight  a  duel  with  an  enemy  with  whom  he  does  not  disdain  to 
have  a  difficulty?  If  the  colored  challenger  of  Mr.  Flanagan 
is  arrested,  he  should  at  once  bring  proceedings  against  Mr. 
Flanagan  under  the  Civil  Rights  bill.  Mr.  Flanagan,  in  dis- 
criminating against  his  challenger  on  the  ground  of  color, 
has  clearly  violated  the  principles  of  the  Civil  Rights  bill, 
and  should  be  prosecuted  to  the  extent  of  the  law.  His 
conviction  would  establish  the  principle  that  a  white  man 
must  either  accept  a  colored  man's  challenge,  or  abandon 
duelling  altogether — a  principle  that  would  very  soon  render 
the  Virginia  duel  obsolete. 

A   despatch   from   Nashville  (Tenn.),   of  March  7, 


158  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

1884,  gives  a  description  of  a  fatal  duel  between  a 
brother  and  sister,  with  knives,  probably  the  only  event 
of  the  kind  on  record: 

Meagre  details  have  reached  here  of  a  terrible  affair  which 
took  place  last  night  at  Baker  Station,  seven  miles  from  here, 
on  the  Nashville  and  Southeastern  Railroad.  The  facts  as 
far  as  learned  are  that  Jack  Hirsch,  a  young  man  living 
at  that  place,  had  been  on  bad  terms  with  his  sister 
Rosa  for  some  time.  Several  nights  ago  the  brother  and 
sister  got  into  a  quarrel,  when  Rosa  cut  Jack  quite  severely. 
This  affair  was  quieted  down  until  last  night,  when  they  be- 
came involved  in  another  quarrel,  and  agreed  to  fight  it  out 
with  knives  to  the  death.  She  had  a  pocketknife  and  he  a 
caseknife.  They  fought  in  a  room  of  the  house  where  they 
lived  until  Rosa  was  cut  to  death.  Her  brother  then  took 
her  out  and  buried  her.  Hirsch  learned  that* a  neighbor 
named  Horton  knew  of  the  tragedy,  and  said  to  one  of  his 
friends  that  he  wanted  to  leave  before  the  officers  of  the  law 
heard  of  the  deed.  He  went  to  the  station,  purchased  a 
ticket  for  Texas,  and  left  on  the  first  train  that  passed.  The 
Hirsch  family  were  formerly  of  this  city,  where  their  father 
was  engaged  in  business. 

A  North  Carolina  vendetta  is  described  in  a  de- 
spatch dated  Shelby  (N.  C.),  January  7,  1884: 

A  terrible  and  fatal  knife  combat  took  place  about  fifteen 
miles  from  here  this  morning.  For  some  years  past  a  ven- 
detta has  existed  between  the  Lepaugh  and  Runyan  families, 
both  of  which  have  large  connections.  Philip  Lepaugh  was 
this  morning  driving  his  wagon  to  a  saw-mill,  when  Craige 
Runyan,  accompanied  by  his  father  and  brother,  made  an  at- 
tack upon  him.  They  pulled  Lepaugh  from  his  wagon  and 
cut  and  hacked  him  with  bowie-knives,  inflicting  some  terri- 
ble wounds.  They  left  him  for  dead  in  the  road.  As  they 
were  fleeing,  the  wounded  man's  two  sons-in-law  came  up, 
and  he  urged  them  to  follow  his  murderers  and  avenge  his 
death.  They  immediately  galloped  after  and  overtook  the 


CLERGYMEN-  AND    WOMEN. 

Runyan  party.  A  desperate  hand-to-hand  conflict  ensued. 
G.  McSwain  and  Reuben  and  Joseph  Runyan  were  soon 
lying  in  the  road  with  ghastly  wounds.  Masters  McSwain 
and  Craige  Runyan  were  the  last  two  to  stand  up,  and  they 
cut  each  other  literally  in  shreds.  The  former,  early  in  the 
conflict,  had  his  left  eye  cut  from  the  socket.  Some  farmers 
came  up  in  time  to  see  them  grovelling  in  the  road  cutting 
at  each  other,  although  they  had  not  strength  to  stand  up. 

The  following  account  of  a  street-duel  between  a 
man  and  a  woman  was  telegraphed  from  Hanford, 
Tulare  County,  Cal.,  on  October  30,  1883: 

M.  H.  Stewart,  the  man  who  shot  three  times  at  his  sister- 
in-law  yesterday  in  Hanford,  because  he  could  not  extort 
money  from  her,  is  presumably  a  very  bad  man.  A  few 
weeks  ago  he  was  arrested  for  firing  five  shots  inside  his 
sister-in-law's  house,  but  as  there  was  no  evidence  to  prove 
that  he  had  shot  at  any  one,  he  was  fined  $50  and  costs  and 
turned  loose.  Mrs.  M.  A.  Lyle  is  a  widow  with  one  child,  a 
girl  about  six  years  old.  She  came  to  Hanford  about  six 
weeks  ago  and  opened  a  millinery  and  dress-making  establish- 
ment. She  had  plenty  money,  apparently,  to  pay  for  all  she 
bought,  and  to  all  appearances  acted  the  perfect  lady.  Stewart 
came  up  a  few  days  after,  as  he  claimed,  for  the  purpose  of 
starting  a  lumber-yard.  One  evening  he  went  to  Mrs.  Lyle's 
house  while  drunk  and  noisy.  Mrs.  Lyle  ordered  him  to 
leave.  This  is  the  night  he  fired  the  five  shots.  When  arrest- 
ed for  this  he  made  Constable  Beckwith  a  present  of  the 
pistol,  stating  that  he  never  would  carry  another.  About 
two  weeks  ago,  being  again  under  the  influence  of  liquor,  he 
used  very  vile  language  on  referring  to  Mrs.  Lyle,  calling  her 
everything  but  a  respectable  woman.  Some  man  in  the  party 
resented  the  insult,  and  pistols  were  drawn  by  both,  but  Stew- 
art was  disarmed  by  bystanders,  and  the  others  then  quieted 
down.  Yesterday  morning  Mr.  Stewart  and  a  lawyer  named 
Irwin,  who,  by  the  way,  up  to  this  time  was  counsel  for  Mrs. 
Lyle,  called  at  her  house.  In  answer  to  their  knock,  Mrs. 
Lyle  appeared  and  asked  what  was  wanted.  Mr.  Irwin  said; 


l6o  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

"  I  demand  of  you  fifteen  hundred  dollars  in  the  name  of 
Mr.  Stewart,  and  if  you  don't  give  it  up,  I  will  attach  every- 
thing you  have."  Looking  up  at  Stewart,  Mrs.  Lyle  asked, 
"Is  that  so?"  Stewart  nodded  "yes,"  at  the  same  time 
going  for  his  pistol,  Mrs.  Lyle  being  ready  with  her  pistol 
about  the  same  time.  Who  fired  the  first  shot  it  is  difficult 
to  tell.  No  two  agree  about  it.  Mrs.  Lyle  says  she  doesn't 
know  who  fired  first.  Stewart  put  his  pistol  close  to  her 
head  and  fired,  the  ball  missing  her  and  going  through  the 
rear  wall  of  the  house,  the  powder  burning  her  face.  Mrs. 
Lyle  put  her  pistol  directly  into  Stewart's  face  and  pulled 
the  trigger,  but  the  cartridge  would  not  explode.  On  pull- 
ing the  second  time  her  hand  was  struck  down  by  Irwin, 
the  ball  entering  the  fleshy  part  of  Stewart's  leg  above  the 
knee.  Mrs.  Lyle  then  ran  out  at  the  front  door  and  into  the 
street.  Stewart  followed,  braced  himself  behind  and  against 
one  of  the  awning  posts,  and  deliberately  fired  two  shots  at 
her  retreating  figure.  Mrs.  Lyle  still  had  her  pistol  in  her 
hand.  Some  one  called  to  her  to  shoot  the  old  villain,  when 
she  turned  and  again  levelled  her  pistol  at  him.  He  then 
started  to  run  down  the  sidewalk.  When  opposite  Philip  & 
Sweet's  store  William  Camp  held  a  double-barrelled  shotgun 
on  him  and  ordered  him  to  drop  his  pistol.  This  he  did  in 
a  hurry,  after  which  both  parties  were  arrested. 


DUELLING  IN   THE  DARK.  l6l 


CHAPTER  IX. 
DUELLING  IN  THE  DARK. 

Night  Combats  —  The  Campbell-Boyd  Encounter — De  Richelieu 
and  De  Lixen's  Midnight  Duel — Senator  Jackson's  Last  Affair 
— Lebre  and  Duprez — Aldworth  and  Buckingham — Fatal  Mid- 
night Duel  in  the  Snow  in  New  York — Desperate  Fight  Between 
Byron  and  Chaworth — Henry  Grattan  and  Isaac  Corry — Fatal 
Meetings  of  British  Officers  by  Candle-light — Exciting  Moon- 
light Encounter  in  New  Mexico — What  Came  of  Expectorating 
on  the  Boot  of  a  New  Yorker  in  a  Southwestern  Town — Modern 
Moonlight  Methods  in  Virginia — Captain  Coote  and  the  Earl  of 
Warwick — Garden  Fight  Between  John  Wilkes  and  Lord  Tal- 
bot — The  Famous  Duels  of  Richard  Brinsley  Sheridan  and 
Captain  Thomas  Mathews. 

NIGHT  combats  have  been  frequent  in  Europe,  and 
also  in  the  United  States.  In  1821,  in  London  (Eng.), 
a  barrister,  named  Christie,  and  the  editor  of  the 
London  Magazine,  Mr.  Scott,  fought  a  duel,  so-called, 
at  Chalk  Farm,  and  the  latter  was  killed.  The  origi- 
nal trouble  occurred  between  Mr.  Scott  and  Mr. 
Lockhart,  the  latter-named  gentleman  at  that  time 
editor  of  BlackwoocTs  Magazine  ;  and,  it  seems,  Scott, 
who  had  been  challenged  by  Lockhart,  and  who  had 
declined  to  accept,  was  called  upon  by  Christie,  and 
the  two  quarrelled,  and  subsequently  agreed  to  meet 
the  same  evening  to  adjust  their  difficulties  according 
to  the  " code  of  honor."  The  fight  took  place  at  ten 
o'clock,  during  the  full  of  the  moon,  and  Scott  fell 


1 62  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

mortally  wounded  at  the  first  fire.  Christie  was 
arrested  and  charged  with  wilful  murder  by  a  coro- 
ner's jury,  but  at  the  trial,  a  short  time  afterward,  he 
was  acquitted. 

In  1721,  Captain  Chickley  and  Lieutenant  Stanley, 
while  disputing  in  a  mess-room  in  a  town  near  Dublin 
(Ireland),  agreed  to  fight  with  small  swords  in  a  dark 
room  the  following  evening.  Stanley  was  an  adroit 
swordsman,  but  was  run  through  the  body  by  his 
antagonist  in  a  few  minutes  after  the  commencement 
of  the  fight. 

Major  Campbell  and  Captain  Boyd,  officers  of  the 
Twenty-first  Foot  (British  army),  fought  a  duel,  with- 
out seconds,  in  the  parlor  of  an  Irish  inn,  at  Newry,  a 
short  time  before  midnight,  in  January,  1807.  Dur- 
ing the  dispute  Campbell  challenged  his  brother 
officer  to  fight  at  once,  but  Boyd  preferred  that  the 
meeting  should  take  place  the  next  day.  Campbell 
then  taunted  his  comrade,  and  insinuated  that  he  was 
displaying  the  white  feather.  The  result  was  that 
they  left  the  garrison  where  they  were  quartered 
unaccompanied  by  friends,  and  fought  as  stated — 
Captain  Boyd  receiving  a  mortal  wound,  from  which 
he  died  in  a  day  or  two.  Campbell  was  convicted  of 
murder  the  i3th  of  August  following,  and  executed 
on  October  2.  His  wife,  who  belonged  to  a  family 
of  high  standing,  made  a  desperate  effort  to  secure 
royal  clemency  ;  but,  as  is  known,  without  success. 
Boyd's  last  words  were:  "  Campbell,  you  are  a  bad 
man  ;  you  hurried  me  in  a  most  wanton  way,  and 
have  mortally  wounded  me  in  a  fight  of  your  own 
making  and  not  according  to  established  rules.  I 
wanted  to  wait,  and  have  the  matter  put  in  the  hands 
of  friends,  and  you  would  not  let  me."  This  terrible 


DUELLING  IN   THE  DARK.  163 

arraignment  by  the  dying  man  was  as  effective  as  the 
death-warrant,  itself,  and  carried  conviction  before 
indictment.  In  a  letter  which  Campbell  left  for  pub- 
lication, he  said:  "I  suffer  a  violent  and  ignominious 
death  for  the  benefit  of  my  countrymen,  who,  by  my 
unhappy  exit,  shall  learn  to  abhor  the  too  prevalent 
and  too  fashionable  crime  of  duelling."  The  writer 
once  met  a  gentleman  who  was  present  at  this  execu- 
tion. Campbell  was  acknowledged  to  be  one  of  the 
handsomest  and  bravest  officers  of  the  Twenty-first 
British  Foot.  While  of  an  excitable  nature,  when 
angered,  it  is  said  of  him  that  he  was  generally  far 
more  amiable  and  much  less  disagreeable  than  Boyd, 
although  they  had  long  been  on  terms  of  mutual  dis- 
like of  each  other.  The  night  before  the  execution 
Mrs.  Campbell  had  managed  to  perfect  methods  of 
escape,  as  it  was  pretty  generally  understood  that, 
although  no  royal  mercy  could  be  extended,  no  par- 
ticular means  of  vigilance  had  been  adopted.  His 
noble  wife,  who  had  planned  the  escape,  reminded 
him  of  his  heroic  conduct  in  Egypt,  of  his  family 
name,  and  of  the  unheeded  recommendation  of  mercy 
by  the  jury  which  pronounced  the  fatal  words.  But 
he  only  replied:  "The  greatest  struggle  of  all  is  to 
leave  you,  my  darling  ;  but  I  am  still  a  soldier,  and 
shall  meet  my  fate  like  a  man."  And  so  he  refused 
to  further  dishonor  himself,  although  the  guard  was 
asleep,  the  doors  of  the  jail  were  unlocked,  and  horses 
and  confederates  were  close  at  hand.  He  passed  the 
following  morning  in  prayer,  and  at  the  proper  time 
ascended  the  stairs  of  the  execution  room  with  a  firm 
step  and  without  escort.  There  stood  before  him 
nineteen  thousand  sympathizing  men  with  heads 
uncovered  ;  and  among  them  the  Fusileers,  with 


164  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

whom  he  had  intrepidly  charged  the  enemy  upon  the 
burning  sands  of  Egypt.  The  hum  of  a  single  bee 
might  have  been  heard  in  that  respectful  crowd,  as 
Campbell  addressed  it.  "  Pray  for  me,"  was  all  the 
poor  soldier  said;  and,  while  the  diapason  of  an 
impressive  "Amen"  went  up  unbroken  by  a  single 
other  utterance,  or  even  whisper,  the  unfortunate 
man  let  fall  his  own  cambric  handkerchief  as  a  signal 
that  he  was  "ready,"  and  simultaneously  he  dropped 
through  the  dreadful  trap  and  went  off  on  that  uncer- 
tain pilgrimage  to  the  unknown  beyond. 

The  notorious  Due  de  Richelieu,  of  France,  who 
fought  so  many  successful  duels,  and  who  seemed  to 
wield  a  magician's  sword,  met  the  Prince  de  Lixen — 
whom  he  had  purposely  insulted  on  account  of  the 
hatred  entertained  for  the  latter  by  Madame  du 
Rosiere — near  the  trenches  of  Philipsbourg,  in  1719, 
at  midnight,  during  a  storm,  by  the  light  of  torches 
held  by  brother  officers.  As  the  story  goes,  De  Lixen, 
who  was  a  General  in  the  French  army  (and  a  very 
tall  man),  had  had  a  horse  shot  from  under  him 
during  an  engagement;  and  seeing  a  pony  near, 
jumped  upon  him  and  rode  into  the  presence  of  De 
Richelieu  (who  was  also  a  General  of  that  time),  who 
burst  into  a  loud  laugh,  and  exclaimed:  "No  wonder 
we  lost  the  day,  when  we  have  mountebanks  for 
generals.  Behold  the  horsemanship  of  the  great 
Prince  de  Lixen,  who  keeps  his  feet  close  to  the 
ground  for  fear  of  falling  from  his  saddle."  The 
Prince  heard  De  Richelieu's  voice  and  laugh,  and  too 
well  knew  what  it  meant,  and  the  source  of  its 
inspiration.  "  I' If  insult  the  villain  in  no  uncertain 
way  upon  the  first  opportunity,"  murmured  De  Lixen. 
The  next  day,  De  Richelieu,  whose  command  had 


DUELLING  IN   THE  DARK.  165 

been  the  last  to  retreat  from  Philipsbourg,  came  into 
the  presence  of  Prince  de  Conti  (the  commanding 
officer),  with  dishevelled  hair,  powder-stained  face, 
and  deranged  toilet.  His  rival  took  this  occasion  to 
carry  out  his  quiet  threat  of  the  day  preceding,  and 
said,  sarcastically  :  "  It  is  a  matter  of  much  surprise 
that  the  Due  de  Richelieu  should  come  into  the  pres- 
ence of  gentlemen  with  the  hair  and  dress  of  a  mas- 
querader."  "  I  did  not  retreat  so  hurriedly  from  the 
field  as  some  of  those  officers  who  appear  here  in 
toilettes  more  elaborately  prepared,  your  highness," 
exclaimed  De  Richelieu;  and  then,  turning  to  De 
Lixen,  he  continued:  "I  shall  now  go  and  purify 
myself,  Prince,  and  in  an  hour  you  shall  hear  from  me." 
And  so  he  did,  in  the  shape  of  a  challenge,  which  was 
accepted;  after  which,  arrangements  were  made  and 
agreed  upon  that  the  two  gentlemen  should  meet 
each  other  in  the  trenches  at  midnight.  They  met 
and  crossed  swords  at  exactly  twelve,  and  in  ten 
minutes  the  magical  weapon  of  De  Richelieu  had 
flashed  through  the  heart  of  his  twentieth  victim,  and 
the  survivor,  stooping  over  the  dead  Prince,  said: 
"  Let  us  carefully  bear  his  noble  body  with  all  honor 
to  camp.  It  is  the  fortune  of  war,  gentlemen,  and 
may  be  our  turn  next."  In  a  short  time  afterward  De 
Richelieu  went  to  Paris  to  acquaint  his  inamorata 
with  the  intelligence  that  he  had  removed  one  of  her 
troubles  from  the  world  forever.  But  what  was  his 
astonishment  to  discover  that  the  frail  and  faithless 
Madame  du  Rosiere  had  fled  with  an  English  noble- 
man to  London. 

Some  few  years  ago,  Major  Ben  Perley  Poore,  then 
Washington  correspondent    of    the   Boston  Journal, 


1 66  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

sent  that  paper  the  following  account  of  a  midnight 
duel  upon  an  island  in  the  Savannah  river: 

Among  the  many  bloody  duels  on  record  as  having  been 
fought  by  Congressmen  was  one  in  which  James  Jackson,  of 
Georgia,  who  had  been  and  who  was  afterward  a  United 
States  Senator,  was  the  challenged  party.  He  was  an  English- 
man by  birth,  but  he  went  to  Savannah  when  a  lad,  studied 
law,  was  a  leading  Freemason,  and  fought  gallantly  in  the 
Revolutionary  War.  He  killed  Lieutenant-Governor  Wells, 
of  Georgia,  in  1780  in  a  duel/and  was  engaged  in  several 
other  "  affairs  of  honor,"  until  he  finally  determined  to 
accept  a  challenge  on  such  terms  as  would  make  it  his  last 
duel.  So,  upon  his  next  challenge,  which  was  from  Colonel 
R.  Watkins,  also  of  Georgia,  he  prescribed  as  the  terms  that 
each  party,  armed  with  a  double-barrelled  gun  loaded  with 
buckshot  and  with  a  hunting-knife,  should  row  himself  in  a 
skiff  to  designated  points  on  opposite  sides  of  the  Savannah 
river.  When  the  city  clock  struck  twelve  each  should  row 
his  skiff  to  a  small  island  in  the  middle  of  the  river,  which 
was  wooded  and  covered  with  underbrush.  On  arriving  at 
the  island  each  was  to  moor  his  skiff,  stand  by  it  for  ten 
minutes,  and  then  go  about  on  the  island  until  the  meeting 
took  place.  The  seconds  waited  on  the  main  land  until 
after  one  o'clock,  when  they  heard  three  gunshots  and  loud 
and  angry  cries.  Then  all  was  still.  At  daylight,  as  had 
been  agreed  upon,  the  seconds  went  to  the  island  and  found 
Jackson  lying  on  the  ground  insensible  from  the  loss  of 
blood,  and  his  antagonist  lying  across  him,  dead.  Jackson 
recovered,  but  would  never  relate  his  experience  on  that 
night,  nor  was  he  ever  challenged  again.  He  died  in  Wash- 
ington city  while  serving  his  second  term  as  United  States 
Senator,  March  19,  1806. 

In  1728,  a  young  gentleman  named  Benjamin 
Woodbridge  was  killed  in  a  duel  with  swords, 
late  at  night,  on  Boston  Common,  by  Henry 


DUELLING  IN   THE  DARK.  l6/ 

Phillips,  after  a  short  combat.  Phillips,  who  was 
not  hurt,  made  his  escape  from  the  city  the  next 
day,  and  later  turned  up  in  France,  where  he 
died  in  1729. 

Eugene  Bonnemere,  in  his  "  Historic  des  Pay- 
sans,"  tells  the  story  of  how  a  peasant,  by  the 
name  of  Lebre,  who  lived  in  the  south  of  France, 
got  more  than  even  with  a  sergeant  of  the  Royal 
Guard  (which  was  quartered  near  Lebre's  cabin). 
It  was  toward  the  end  of  the  seventeenth  century; 
and  the  sergeant,  presuming  upon  his  gallantry  and 
manly  beauty,  and  knowing  the  proverbial  weak- 
ness of  some  women  for  even  non-commissioned 
officers  of  his  profession,  took  occasion  to  pay 
marked  attention  to  Lebre's  young  and  pretty  wife; 
which,  while  being  strictly  agreeable  to  dainty  Mrs. 
L.,  was  highly  unsatisfactory  to  the  incensed  hus- 
band; who,  at  last,  gave  Mr.  Sergeant  Duprez  a  piece 
of  proper  advice,  and  was  promptly  knocked  down 
for  his  pains.  Lebre  at  once  challenged  his  antago- 
nist, who  declined  to  recognize  a  -common  peasant 
as  his  equal;  and,  shutting  Lebre  out  of  his  own 
cottage,  took  immediate  possession  of  it  and  its 
pretty  matron.  In  a  day  or  two,  the  sergeant  quit 
the  place  for  good,  and  Lebre  returned,  sold  all  his 
effects,  packed  the  erring  madame  off  to  her  father's, 
enlisted  in  the  army,  and  was  seen  no  more  in  that 
neighborhood  for  upwards  of  eight  years.  He 
fought  through  two  campaigns  bravely  but  without 
a  scratch,  and  by  gradual  promotion  reached  the 
rank  of  sergeant.  "Aha!"  cried  Lebre,  joyfully,  at 
the  end  of  six  years'  service,  "  Sergeant  Duprez,  Ser- 
geant Lebre  is  your  equal !  I  shall  seek  you  out,  you 
villain,  and  punish  you  for  the  wrongs  I  suffered  at 


1 68  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

your  hands  six  years  ago."  Lebre  was  two  years  in 
finding  this  man.  And  when  he  did  find  him,  they 
were  at  the  point  of  sitting  down  at  the  same  dinner- 
table,  with  a  dozen  other  officers  of  about  uniform 
rank.  As  soon  as  the  repast  was  over,  Lebre  arose; 
and,  addressing  Duprez,  inquired:  "Suppose,  sir,  a 
man  should  give  you  a  blow,  what  would  you  do?" 
"  I  would  return  it  and  challenge  him  to  fight,"  re- 
sponded Duprez.  "  Take  that,  then,"  exclaimed 
Lebre,  dealing  his  old  enemy  a  tremendous  blow, 
which  staggered  him  considerably;  and,  then,  ad- 
dressing himself  to  his  other  comrades,  he  recapitu- 
lated the  story  of  how  Duprez  had  knocked  him 
down  for  defending  his  wife,  and  thereafter  refused 
to  fight  him  on  the  ground  that  he  was  not  Duprez's 
equal.  "  Now,  Sergeant  Duprez,"  ejaculated  that 
fellow's  assailant,  turning  round  and  facing  his 
enemy,  "  you  and  I  are  equal.  I  have  returned  the 
blow  you  gave  me  eight  years  ago,  and  now  chal- 
lenge you  to  fight  for  your  life."  And  as  quick  as 
lightning  the  two  sergeants  drew  their  weapons,  and 
Duprez  was  killed  in  three  minutes,  the  duel  taking 
place  by  candle-light. 

In  1719,  in  London  (Eng.),  Captain  William  Aid- 
worth,  of  the  army,  and  Owen  Buckingham,  member 
of  Parliament,  met,  and  dined,  and  quarrelled,  and 
fought,  all  in  one  evening.  It  was  so  dark  that  they 
could  not  see  each  other,  and  they  were  so  thor- 
oughly-well intoxicated  that  it  did  not  make  much 
difference  whether  they  did  or  did  not  see  each 
other;  but,  all  the  same,  there  was  one  less  member 
of  Parliament  the  following  morning,  for  Bucking- 
ham was  found  by  some  friends  shortly  after  the 
fight,  pierced  to  the  heart  with  his  antagonist's  ra- 


DUELLING  IN   THE  DARK.  169 

pier,  and  Aldworth  near  by  very  drunk  and  covered 
with  wounds. 

University  Place,  New  York  (N.  Y.),  was  the  scene 
of  a  fatal  duel,  one  cold,  snowy  night  in  the  winter 
of  1804,  the  parties  to  the  combat  being  William 
Coleman,  editor  of  the  New  York  Evening  Post  (an 
organ  of  the  Federalists),  and  Captain  Thompson, 
Harbor-Master  of  the  Port  of  New  York.  Thomp- 
son, who  had  made  quite  an  effort  to  provoke  Cole- 
man, remarked  freely  that  he  had  no  fight  in  him, 
and  that  if  slapped  well  on  one  side  of  his  face,  he 
would  only  be  too  happy  to  present  the  other  side  for 
similar  treatment.  Coleman,  after  making  sure  that 
Thompson  had  used  the  language  attributed  to  him, 
challenged  the  offender,  who  accepted,  designated 
pistols  as  weapons,  and  named  eleven  o'clock  as  time 
of  meeting,  and  at  or  near  University  Place  the  scene 
of  battle.  Each  party  had  surgeons  and  seconds, 
and  agreed,  as  it  was  snowing  at  the  time,  to  fire  at 
each  other  at  twelve  yards.  Both  fired  the  third 
time,  when  Thompson  was  heard  to  exclaim:  "My 
God  !  I  have  got  it !"  and,  reeling  sideways,  fell  mor- 
tally wounded  into  the  snow,  and  died  a  short  time 
after  having  been  conveyed  to  his  residence.  The 
dying  man  made  a  statement  in  the  presence  of  a 
number  of  friends  to  the  effect  that  the  duel  and  his 
death  were  the  consequences  of  his  own  quarrelsome 
character  and  rashness,  and  his  last  words  were  for- 
giveness of  Coleman,  who,  he  believed,  had  no  intent 
to  kill. 

In  1765,  while  dining  at  the  "Star  and  Garter," 
Pall  Mall,  London  (Eng.),  with  a  Mr.  Chaworth,  a 
famous  duellist,  William  (the  fifth  Lord)  Byron — 
great  uncle  of  the  author  of  "  Childe  Harold  " — 


170  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

quarrelled  with  his  friend  regarding  the  manner  of 
preserving  game,  and  also  concerning  the  game-laws; 
and  the  two  retired  to  an  adjoining  room  and  fought 
by  the  light  of  a  tallow  candle.  Byron  entered  the 
apartment  first;  and,  as  Chaworth  was  closing  the 
door,  turning  his  head  round,  he  beheld  his  antag- 
onist's sword  half  drawn;  and,  whipping  his  own 
weapon  out,  he  made  a  quick  lunge  at  his  opponent, 
and  ran  his  sword  through  Byron's  waistcoat;  but, 
as  Chaworth  thought,  through  his  body.  His  lord- 
ship closed,  and,  shortening  his  sword,  stabbed  Cha- 
worth in  the  stomach,  making  a  wound  fourteen 
inches  deep,  from  which  Mr.  C.  died  the  next  morn- 
ing. English  accounts  have  always  differed  as  to 
which  gentleman  challenged  the  other,  and  also  of 
subsequent  proceedings  concerning  the  shocking 
affair.  The  best  authority  says  that  Byron  was 
arrested  and  tried  before  his  peers  in  Westminster 
Hall,  and  that  he  read  his  defence,  plead  his  peerage, 
and  by  his  privilege  escaped  burning  in  the  hand. 
Another  account  states  that  he  was  convicted  of 
manslaughter  by  a  vote  of  one  hundred  and  twenty- 
four  out  of  one  hundred  and  thirty-one,  and  sen- 
tenced to  the  payment  of  fine  and  one  day's  im- 
prisonment. Public  opinion  frowned  upon  him  ever 
afterward,  and  he  was  pointed  at  as  a  murderer 
even  in  his  self-exile.  It  is  an  interesting  fact  that 
the  poet  fell  desperately  in  love  with  Mary  Chaworth, 
the  pretty  daughter  of  his  uncle's  antagonist,  who  led 
him  on  to  some  extent,  and  then  married  another. 

In  1800,  Henry  Grattan  and  Isaac  Corry,  members 
of  the  Irish  Parliament,  indulged  in  vehement  debate 
over  the  question  whether  Ireland  was  to  dwindle 
into  a  province  or  retain  her  name  among  nations, 


DUELLING  IN  THE  DARK.  l?l 

during  which  Corry  said  that  Grattan,  instead  of  en- 
joying the  confidence  of  his  countrymen,  should  be 
standing  at  the  criminal  bar  to  answer  for  treason — 
to  which  the  great  Irish  orator  replied,  concluding  as 
follows:  "The  gentleman  has  calumniated  me  to- 
night in  Parliament;  he  will  calumniate  me  to-mor- 
row in  the  King's  courts;  but,  had  he  said,  or  dared 
to  have  insinuated,  one  half  as  much  elsewhere,  the 
indignant  spirit  of  an  honest  man  would  have  an- 
swered the  vile  and  venal  slanderer  with  a  blow." 
The  parties  left  the  house  immediately  with  friends, 
although  it  was  quite  dark,  and  repaired  to  the  near- 
est duelling  ground  and  fought  with  pistols  at  twelve 
paces,  Corry  having  his  left  arm  shattered  at  the 
first  shot. 

As  late  as  1853  Captain  Phillips,  of  the  British 
Army,  in  garrison  at  Bombay  (India),  took  offence  at 
Lieutenant  Sheppard,  of  the  same  garrison,  for  triv- 
ial words,  and  the  two  officers  indulged  in  volumi- 
nous correspondence,  which  resulted  in  a  hostile  meet- 
ing at  night  by  the  light  of  a  single  candle  held  by  a 
native  domestic  in  the  service  of  Phillips,  who  was 
shot  dead  at  the  first  fire.  Sheppard  was  court-mar- 
tialed and  dismissed  from  the  army,  and  afterward 
tried  upon  the  charge  of  murder  and  convicted  of 
manslaughter. 

Captain  Rutherford  and  Surgeon  Cahill,  of  the 
British  Army — officers  in  the  same  regiment,  on  garri- 
son duty  in  Scotland — in  1811,  quarrelled  over  the 
trivial  matter  of  Cahill  carrying  a  file  of  London 
papers  from  the  mess-room  to  his  quarters,  which 
was,  really,  contrary  to  garrison  regulations.  One 
word  brought  on  another,  when  Rutherford,  greatly 
enraged,  challenged  the  surgeon  to  mortal  combat, 


172  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

which  the  latter  accepted,  and  named  the  same  even- 
ing and  a  neighboring  quarry  as  the  time  and  place 
for  the  hostile  engagement.  The  principals  met 
promptly  at  the  quarry  at  the  appointed  hour,  accom- 
panied by  seconds,  and  Rutherford  received  a  mortal 
wound.  The  survivor  was  subsequently  tried  and 
acquitted. 

In  the  early  part  of  1883  there  took  place  a  char- 
acteristic encounter  at  Chama  (New  Mexico),  the 
result  of  which  produced  much  rejoicing  among  that 
element  of  border  civilization  which  is  rarely  satisfied 
with  one  "  man  for  breakfast,"  thus  :  Charles  Reiser 
and  Will  Whitson  were  young  men  of  Chama,  and 
bosom  friends.  Whitson,  who  was  known  as  "  Tex," 
held  the  office  of  Town  Marshal ;  and,  seeing  Keiser 
carrying  a  pistol  in  violation  of  local  ordinances, 
deemed  it  his  duty,  notwithstanding  their  friendship, 
to  disarm  him.  Keiser  resented  this,  and  refused  to 
surrender  his  pistol ;  thereupon  a  quarrel  ensued, 
and  Tex  proposed  that  they  should  fight  a  duel  then 
and  there.  It  was  eleven  o'clock  at  night,  but  clear. 
Keiser  accepted  the  challenge,  and,  separating  ten 
paces,  they  began  to  fire  at  each  other.  In  less  than 
a  quarter  of  an  hour  both  were  dead.  The  manner 
in  which  they  received  their  injuries  was  in  itself 
singular.  At  the  first  fire  Keiser  shot  Tex  through 
the  heart.  As  Tex  stumbled  and  fell  he  fired  four 
times  in  quick  succession,  and  one  of  the  balls  passed 
completely  through  Keiser's  body.  ''They  were 
both  noble  fellows,"  gently  remarked  a  melancholy 
ruffian  present,  as  he  sent  a  leaden  messenger  of 
salutation  through  the  plug  hat  of  the  newest  Eng- 
lish arrival  at  Chama.  "  Yes,  sir ;  them  boys  have 
started  many  a  cemetery  of  their  own,  and  shan't 


DUELLING  IN   THE  DARK.  173 

want  for  a  decent  funeral  ;  so  I'll  take  it  upon  my- 
self to  appoint " — but  the  Briton  with  the  narrow- 
brimmed  nail-keg  hat  had  quietly  disappeared. 

Some  years  ago,  in  one  of  the  southwestern  States, 
a  "native  and  to  the  manner  born,"  named  Gamble, 
while  forming  one  of  a  group  describing  a  semi-circle 
in  front  of  an  evening  fire  at  an  only  town  tavern, 
took  occasion  to  vulgarly  expectorate  upon  the  well- 
polished  boot  of  a  stranger,  named  Schuyler,  who 
had  just  arrived  from  New  York.  With  the  superior 
blood  of  the  old  General  in  his  veins,  the  insulted 
man  jumped  up  (as  also  did  Gamble),  and,  in  great 
anger,  asked  the  fellow  if  he  had  purposely  spat  upon 
his  boot ;  to  which  the  latter  replied  that  Schuyler 
had  guessed  it  the  first  time  ;  and,  said  Gamble,  "  If 
you  don't  like  it  I'll  spit  in  your  face."  As  quick  as 
lightning  Schuyler  dealt  the  funny  man  a  blow,  and 
then  the  two  closed,  and  "  rough-and-tumbled  "  until 
the  landlord  suggested  that  they  go  into  a  dark  room 
and  fight  it  out  with  knives.  "  That  suits  me  to 
death!"  shouted  Gamble.  "All  right,  sir,"  replied 
Schuyler.  They  were  then  locked  up  in  a  dark  room, 
where  they  fought  with  knives  and  pistols  for  nearly 
fifteen  minutes,  when  all  of  a  sudden  the  fighting 
ceased  and  the  apartment  became  quiet.  The  land- 
lord then  opened  the  door  and  found  the  two  men 
prostrate  together,  Schuyler  underneath.  Both  were 
covered  with  blood  from  head  to  foot.  Gamble  was 
quite  dead,  and  Schuyler  was  supposed  to  be 
dying.  The  crowd  quickly  got  the  latter  out  into 
the  air,  applied  restoratives  and  bandages,  and  in  a 
few  weeks  he  had  fully  recovered.  The  statement 
need  hardly  be  made  that  thereafter  in  a  certain 
southwestern  town  expectoration  was  discharged  in 


174  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

cataracts  all  round  Schuyler's  boots,  but  never  a 
sprinkle  upon  them.  In  describing  this  affair,  some 
years  afterward,  Schuyler  says  that  he  had  been 
pretty  well  used  up  by  Gamble,  but  the  latter  got 
down  upon  him  to  see  if  he  was  dead,  when  he 
grabbed  him  and  held  him  in  that  position  with  one 
hand  and  with  his  legs,  and  with  his  other  hand 
drove  the  murderous  blade  clean  into  the  fellow's 
heart. 

As  late  as  October  5,  1883,  two  Virginians  settled 
an  affair  of  honor  by  moonlight,  according  to  a 
dispatch  from  Fincastle  (Va.),  of  the  above  date, 
which  described  the  circumstances  of  the  meeting 
and  the  meeting  itself  as  follows  :  "  George  Thomas 
and  Algerman  Battleheim  fought  a  duel  near  here 
this  evening  in  a  lonely  spot  known  as  Stony  Battery. 
Thomas  was  armed  with  a  doubled-barreled  shotgun, 
loaded  with  heavy  shot,  and  Battleheim  with  a  six- 
shooter  Colt's  revolver.  Battleheim,  up  to  two  weeks 
ago,  had  been  a  constant  visitor  at  Thomas'  resi- 
dence, and  rumors  had  been  industriously  circulated 
that  he  was  in  love  with  his  friend's  wife ;  and 
Thomas,  after  carefully  watching  the  couple  for 
several  days,  ascertained,  as  he  thought,  that  Battle- 
heim had  perfected  a  plot  to  entice  Mrs.  Thomas 
away.  The  next  morning  Thomas'  wife  was  miss- 
ing, and  was  not  seen  for  two  days.  After  the  first 
day  Battleheim  made  his  appearance,  and  Thomas 
charged  him  with  having  enticed  his  wife  away. 
Battleheim  indignantly  denied  the  charge,  and  said 
he  meant  to  hold  Thomas  responsible  for  his  damag- 
ing accusation.  They  parted,  and  the  next  day  the 
wife  returned  to  her  husband.  Battleheim,  however, 
demanded  satisfaction  of  Thomas,  and  the  latter 


DUELLING  IN   THE  DARK.  1 7$ 

agreed  to  meet  him  in  the  evening,  without  seconds. 
Their  singular  choice  of  weapons  was  not  in  strict 
accordance  with  the  code,  but  it  was  held  that,  while 
Thomas  had  only  two  barrels  loaded  with  shot,  they 
were  capable  of  doing  more  damage  than  six  barrels 
loaded  with  single  balls,  and  so  it  proved.  At  the 
first  fire,  distance  thirty  paces,  Thomas  sent  the  full 
charge  of  shot  into  Battleheim's  face  ;  and  the  latter 
fell  mortally  wounded,  after  having  fired  wildly  a 
second  time." 

Most  readers  of  English  literature  are  familiar  with 
the  story  of  the  duel  between  Captain  Coote  and  the 
Earl  of  Warwick.  Each  principal  had  two  seconds, 
and  the  duel  was  fought  at  night  in  Hyde  Park  in 
1699.  All  the  parties  were  intoxicated  at  the  time,  and 
the  six  combatants  slashed  at  each  other  until  Coote 
was  killed.  Lord  Mohun  and  the  Earl  of  Warwick 
were  arrested  and  charged  with  murder,  but  were 
acquitted. 

John  Wilkes,  the  famous  English  politician  and 
writer,  fought  his  first  duel  after  dark  in  the  garden 
of  an  inn  near  London,  with  Lord  Talbot,  in  1761. 
It  seems  that  Talbot,  who  was  to  be  present  at  the 
coronation  of  George  III.,  as  Lord  Steward,  had 
trained  his  horse  to  step  backward,  so  that,  at  the 
ceremony,  the  animal  should  face,  with  his  rider,  his 
Majesty  as  he  retired  from  Westminster  Hall.  Un- 
fortunately, however,  this  particular  mode  of  training 
had  been  too  severe,  and  Talbot's  horse  entered  the 
hall  tail  first,  despite  every  effort  made  by  his  morti- 
fied rider  to  reverse  his  position.  This  was  too  good 
a  thing  for  the  North  Briton  to  let  go  unnoticed,  and 
Wilkes  made  the  most  of  it  in  an  amusing  way, 
which  led  to  a  correspondence  and  a  duel,  as  stated. 


176  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

After  an  exchange  of  shots  the  parties  (and  their 
friends)  repaired  to  the  inn,  formally  made  up  with 
each  other,  ordered  edibles  and  choice  wines  and 
made  a  night  of  it. 

One  of  the  most  noted  duels  of  this  character  was 
that  in  which  Richard  Brinsley  Sheridan  (poet, 
dramatist,  orator  and  statesman),  upon  whom  Provi- 
dence had  showered  so  many  gifts,  was  engaged  at 
an  early  period  of  his  eventful  life.  Sheridan,  as  is 
well  known  to  many,  when  about  twenty  years  of 
age,  was  peculiarly  fond  of  the  society  of  men  and 
women  of  taste  and  learning,  and  soon  gave  proofs 
that  he  was  inferior  to  none  of  his  companions  in 
wit  and  argument.  At  this  age  he  had  recourse  to 
his  literary  talents  for  pecuniary  supplies,  and 
directed  a  good  deal  of  his  attention  to  the  drama 
and  its  literature  ;  and  it  was  during  this  time  that 
he  saw  and  loved  Miss  Alicia  Linley,  a  "  lady  no  less 
admirable  for  the  elegant  accomplishments  of  her  sex 
and  the  affecting  simplicity  of  her  conversation  than 
for  the  charms  of  her  person  and  the  fascinating 
powers  of  her  voice.  She  was  the  principal  per- 
former in  the  oratorios  at  Drury-Lane  Theatre.  The 
strains  which  she  called  forth  were  the  happiest 
combinations  of  nature  and  art.  Her  accents  were 
so  melodious  and  captivating,  and  their  passage  to 
the  heart  so  sudden  and  irresistible,  that  listening 
Envy  would  have  dropped  her  snakes,  and  stern-eyed 
Fury's  self  have  melted  at  the  sounds.  Her  father, 
Mr.  Linley,  the  eminent  composer,  was  not  at  first 
propitious  to  the  young  man's  passion,  and  Mr. 
Sheridan  had  many  rivals  to  overcome  in  his  at- 
tempts to  gain  the  lady's  affection.  His  persever- 
ance, however,  increased  with  the  difficulties  that 


DUELLING  IN    THE  DARK.  1/7 

presented  themselves,  and  his  courage  and  resolution 
were  displayed  in  vindicating  Miss  Linley's  reputa- 
tion from  a  calumnious  report  which  had  been  basely 
thrown  out  against  it."  About  this  time  (1772), 
Captain  Thomas  Mathews,  a  gentleman  well  known 
in  the  fashionable  circles  of  Bath  (England),  and  a 
married  man,  pursued  Miss  Linley  with  dishonorable 
purposes,  to  the  great  distress  and  terror  of  the 
young  lady,  who  acquainted  Mr.  Sheridan  with  her 
troubles,  and  soon  afterward  departed  for  a  con- 
vent in  France,  accompanied  by  her  honorable 
friend,  with  whom  she  married,  however,  upon 
their  arrival  at  Calais.  Captain  Mathews  became 
actually  furious  at  this  state  of  affairs,  and  caused  a 
paragraph  to  be  placed  in  one  of  the  Bath  papers, 
derogatory  to  the  character  of  the  bride,  and  was 
challenged  by  Charles  Francis  Sheridan,  a  brother  of 
Richard,  who  had  also  been  greatly  in  love  with  the 
sweet  singer  of  Drury-Lane.  In  a  few  days  Mr. 
Sheridan  returned  to  London  with  his  bride,  and 
insisted  on  fighting  Mathews  himself.  He  thereupon 
sent  a  challenge,  which  was  accepted,  and  the  two 
rivals  met,  Mr.  Sheridan  accompanied  by  a  Mr. 
Ewart,  and  Mathews  by  Captain  Knight.  They 
fought  with  swords  in  the  parlor  of  a  public  house 
in  London  by  lights  held  by  Charles  Sheridan  until 
Mathews  was  disarmed,  and  (according  to  many 
authorities,  among  them  Mr.  Sheridan),  begged  his 
life.  Mr.  S.  granted  his  request  upon  the  condition 
that  he  should  sign  a  retraction  of  the  falsehood  he 
had  published  (which  Mathews  did),  and  then  started 
for  Bath  to  give  the  apology  the  same  newspaper 
notoriety  enjoyed  by  the  slanderous  paragraph 
previously  published  by  Captain  Mathews.  This 


THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

so  incensed  the  latter  that  he  repaired  to  Bath  and 
challenged  Sheridan,  who  accepted,  and  a  second 
fight  took  place  at  Kingsdown,  four  miles  from  Bath, 
before  daylight,  Mr.  Sheridan  being  attended  by  Mr. 
Paumier  and  Captain  Mathews  by  Mr.  Barnett.  This 
was  a  most  ferocious  fight.  The  combatants  first 
discharged  their  pistols  without  effect,  and  then  went 
at  each  other  with  swords,  which  were  broken  at  the 
first  lunge.  They  then  fought  with  the  broken  parts, 
until  each  received  many  wounds,  Sheridan  some 
very  dangerous  ones.  They  at  last  fell  to  the  ground 
and  fought  until  separated,  Mr.  Sheridan  being 
borne  from  the  field  with  a  portion  of  his  antagonist's 
weapon  sticking  through  an  ear,  his  breast-bone 
touched,  his  whole  body  covered  with  wounds  and 
blood,  and  his  face  nearly  beaten  to  a  jelly  with  the 
hilt  of  Mathews'  sword.  After  recovering  from  his 
injuries,  Mr.  Sheridan  returned  to  London  and  was 
re-married  to  his  wife  (in  their  presence  and  with  the 
consent  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Linley),  Mrs.  Sheridan  never 
again  appearing  as  a  public  performer.  Mr.  Sheridan 
was  perhaps  the  most  matchlessly-endowed  man  who 
ever  lived.  His  magnificent  and  wonderful  genius 
and  brilliant  and  commanding  talent,  and  unrivalled 
powers  of  oratorical  excellence,  were  only  a  few  of 
his  distinguishing  traits.  Yet  he  died  partly  from 
the  effects  of  enormous  excesses  ;  and  it  was  only  by 
the  firmness  and  humanity  of  his  physicians  that 
obdurate  creditors  were  prevented  from  dragging 
him  from  his  house  to  a  death-bed  in  jail — this  in 
July,  1816. 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS. 


CHAPTER  X. 
NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS. 

The  Famous  Judicial  Combat  between  La  Chastaignerie  and  Jar- 
nac — Savage  Encounter  between  Sir  Edward  Sackville  and  Lord 
Bruce — The  Fatal  Meeting  of  the  Duke  of  Hamilton  and  Lord 
Mohun — Famous  Duel  between  Lord  Camelford  and  Captain 
Best — An  Unfortunate  Affair  resulting  from  a  Mistaken  Sense 
of  Honor — The  Grey-Egerton  Duel — Grey  demands  a  Second 
Shot  and  receives  a  Bullet  in  the  Heart — Wellington  and  Win- 
chelsea — Two  Furious  and  Fatal  French  Duels — Fatal  Combat 
with  Billiard-Balis — Punctiliousness  personified  —  Beaumont 
and  Manuel — She  kissed  them  both  at  the  Door  just  as  if  Noth- 
ing unusual  had  happened — What  resulted  from  wringing  a 
Meddlesome  Lady's  Nose — "  Je  vous  demande  ma  vie" — Fatal 
Meetings  of  British  Officers — An  Exciting  Affair  at  Madrid — 
Description  of  Pierre  Soule's  Duel  by  a  Participant. 

IN  an  incidental  way  mention  has  been  made  of 
the  noted  duel  which  took  place  between  Guy 
Chabot  de  Jarnac  and  La  Chastaignerie,  which  was 
fought  on  the  loth  of  June,  1547,  and  was  the  last 
judicial  combat  witnessed  in  France;  for,  on  the  day 
succeeding  the  death  of  the  latter,  Henry  II.  issued 
an  edict  prohibiting  such  combats;  it  having  been 
pretty  well  demonstrated  that  Providence  generally 
seemed  to  be  on  the  side  of  the  most  skillful  or  mus- 
cular combatant,  and  that  the  ends  of  justice  were 
often  defeated  by  the  inferior  swordsmanship  of  par- 
ties known  to  have  been  innocent  of  charges  of 


180  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 

crimes  preferred  against  them  by  men  of  doubtful 
character,  but  who  were  proficient  in  the  use  of  the 
implements  of  the  lists.  La  Chastaignerie  was  a 
favorite  of  the  King,  and  at  that  time  the  most  excel- 
lent and  expert  swordsman  in  France.  He  was  the 
very  picture  of  manly  beauty,  being  tall  and  well 
formed,  and  but  twenty-eight  years  of  age.  His 
heart  was  the  heart  of  a  villian,  however;  and,  in 
order  to  besmirch  the  character  of  Jarnac,  who  had 
been  a  great  favorite  with  Francis  I.,  he  circulated 
the  detrimental  report  that  his  rival  had  been  on 
terms  of  criminal  intimacy  with  his  mother-in-law. 
Jarnac  pleaded  with  Francis  to  permit  him  to  "  pre- 
serve the  right"  by  a  resort  to  the  judicial  combat, 
which  the  King  refused — in  all  probability  out  of 
consideration  of  La  Chastaignerie's  proficiency  with 
the  sword.  Jarnac,  however,  as  soon  as  Henry  be- 
came King,  renewed  his  entreaties,  which  in  due  time 
were  acceded  to,  and  a  day  was  at  last  set  for  the 
combat.  The  royal  family,  and  great  crowds  of  the 
nobility,  together  with  officers  of  the  court  and  army, 
were  in  attendance  at  St.  Germain-en-Laye.  It  was 
a  dazzling  spectacle;  and  the  day  appointed  had 
been  made  beautiful  by  a  warm  sun  which  had 
coaxed  put  the  buds  of  roses  into  flowers  which  ex- 
haled sweet  fragrance  and  filled  the  air  with  per- 
fume. Jarnac  was  also  about  twenty-eight.  His  fea- 
tures were  regular  and  handsome,  but  so  deadly  pale 
as  to  seem  like  stone.  He  was  as  calm  as  a  Madonna, 
and  looked  out  modestly  from  his  lustrous  eyes  into 
the  insolent  face  of  his  arrogant  and  unrelenting  foe. 
When  the  word  was  given  to  "  Let  the  combatants 
go!"  La  Chastaignerie  rushed  viciously  toward  Jar- 
nac, who  at  first  placed  himself  on  the  defensive.  In 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  l8l 

a  few  moments,  however,  the  combatants  attacked 
each  other  savagely,  and  soon  both  had  received 
desperate  cuts  in  their  arms.  Then  they  stood  off 
from  each  other  for  a  brief  space  of  breathing-time, 
and  then  La  Chastaignerie  attempted  a  murderous 
lunge,  when  Jarnac  cut  the  ham  of  one  of  his  legs, 
which  dazed  the  wretch  for  a  moment,  and  sent  a 
thrill  through  the  crowd.  In  another  minute,  and 
while  La  Chastaignerie  was  again  attempting  a 
second  desperate  lunge,  Jarnac  cut  the  ham  of  his 
other  leg,  and  the  famous  courtier  fell  to  the  ground. 
It  was  the  most  sensational  spectacle  of  the  kind  ever 
seen  in  France;  and  a  great  murmur  went  through 
the  vast  assemblage  when  the  cleverest  swordsman 
and  wrestler  of  the  age  was  sent  so  ignominiously  to 
grass.  "  Confess  yourself  a  liar,  and  restore  to  me 
my  honor,  and  live!"  shouted  Jarnac;  but  the  fallen 
courtier  remained  silent.  Jarnac  then  addressed  the 
King:  "  I  beseech  your  majesty  to  accept  the  life  of 
this  man  for  God's  sake  and  for  love's.  I  do  not 
wish  to  have  his  blood  on  my  soul.  I  fought  for  the 
restoration  of  that  honor  of  which  he  has  robbed 
me."  The  King  at  first  declined,  but  at  last  con- 
sented to  accept  the  boon  of  La  Chastaignerie's  life. 
Meanwhile  the  poor  creature  moved  round  on  his 
knees,  and  cut  wildly  and  impotently  at  the  object 
before  him,  but  in  a  short  time  fell  over  and  bled  to 
death.  Jarnac  absolutely  declined  all  privileges  of 
triumphal  pageant  and  procession,  and  advised  that 
the  body  be  committed  to  respectful  interment.  "  I 
have  triumphed  over  my  false  accuser;  I  gained  all  I 
fought  for — the  full  vindication  of  my  honor  and 
reputation;  I  am  satisfied,"  said  Jarnac  to  the  King; 
and  the  latter  replied,  "You  fought  like  Caesar  and 


1 82  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

speak  like  Aristotle."  So  stung  with  defeat  and  hu- 
miliation was  La  Chastaignerie,  even  when  bleeding 
to  death,  that  he  refused  to  submit  to  any  operations 
of  surgery,  and  tore  off  the  few  bandages  with  which 
his  wounds  had  been  bound. 

A  memorable  meeting  was  that  of  Lord  Bruce  and 
Sir  Edward  Sackville,  partly  on  account  of  its  san- 
guinary character,  and  partly  on  account  of  the 
prominence  of  the  parties  engaged  in  it.  The  duel 
took  place  at  Bergen-op-Zoom,  in  the  Netherlands; 
and  there  is  to-day  a  spot  about  a  mile  and  a  half 
from  the  Antwerp  gate  of  Bergen  which  goes  by  the 
name  of  Bruce-land.  The  duel  took  place  in  1613, 
and  was  a  most  desperate  affair.  Lord  Clarendon, 
Burke  and  other  writers  have  described  it  as  terribly 
fierce,  during  which  Bruce  was  mortally  wounded 
and  Sackville  desperately  hurt.  No  writers  agree  as 
to  the  cause  of  the  duel,  and  Clarendon  says  nothing 
respecting  its  origin.  Sir  Robert  Preston  states  that 
"  The  cause  of  the  quarrel  has  remained  wholly  un- 
detected, notwithstanding  successive  investigations 
at  different  periods."  The  parties  fought  on  the 
Continent,  so  as  not  to  incur  the  King's  displeasure. 
Lord  Leicester,  after  much  investigation,  was  unable 
to  discover  the  cause  of  the  duel;  but  Chambers 
states  that  Bruce,  while  one  day  paying  his  addresses 
to  Sackville's  sister  (Lady  Clementina),  was  rudely 
assaulted  by  Sackville,  who  came  into  their  presence 
greatly  disordered  by  liquor  or  wine;  and  that,  while 
Bruce  made  every  effort  to  keep  the  matter  from  the 
public,  Sackville  acted  in  a  contrary  way,  and  subse- 
quently gave  Bruce  a  blow,  on  a  crowded  street,  at 
which  a  challenge  was  sent  to  the  transgressor. 
"  We  met,"  says  Sackville,  in  a  letter  which  he  wrote 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  183 

to  a  friend  from  Louvain,  September  8,  1613,  "in  a 
meadow,  ankle-deep  in  water  at  the  least;  and,  bid- 
ding farewell  to  our  doublets,  in  our  shirts  began  to 
charge  each  other;  having  afore  commanded  our  sur- 
geons to  withdraw  themselves  a  pretty  distance  from 
us;  conjuring  them,  besides,  as  they  respected  our 
favors,  or  their  safeties,  not  to  stir,  but  suffer  us  to 
execute  our  pleasure;  we  being  fully  resolved  to 
dispatch  each  other  by  what  means  we  could." 
Sackville's  letter  then  presents  the  following  descrip- 
tion of  the  fight: 

I  made  a  thrust  at  my  enemy,  but  was  short ;  and,  in 
drawing  back  my  arm,  I  received  a  great  wound  thereon, 
which  I  interpreted  as  a  reward  for  my  short  shooting ;  but 
in  my  revenge  I  pressed  into  him,  though  I  then  missed  him 
also,  and  received  a  wound  in  my  right  pap,  which  passed 
level  through  my  body,  and  almost  to  my  back.  And  there 
we  wrestled  for  the  two  greatest  and  dearest  prizes  we  could 
ever  expect  trial  for — honor  and  life.  In  which  struggling, 
my  hand,  having  but  an  ordinary  glove  upon  it,  lost  one  of 
her  servants,  though  the  meanest.  But  at  last  breathless, 
yet  keeping  our  hold,  there  passed  on  both  sides  proposi- 
tions of  quitting  each  other's  swords.  But  when  amity  was 
dead  confidence  could  not  live,  and  who  should  quit  first 
was  the  question,  which  on  neither  part  either  would  per- 
form ;  and  re-striving  again  afresh,  with  a  kick  and  a 
wrench,  I  freed  my  long  captive  weapon,  which,  inconti- 
nently levying  at  his  throat,  being  master  still  of  his,  I  de- 
manded if  he  would  ask  his  life,  or  yield  his  sword,  both 
which,  though  in  that  imminent  danger,  he  bravely  denied 
to  do.  Myself  being  wounded,  and  feeling  loss  of  blood, 
having  three  conduits  running  on  me,  which  began  to  make 
me  faint,  and  he  courageously  persisting  not  to  accede  to 
either  of  my  propositions,  through  remembrance  of  his  for- 
mer bloody  desire,  and  feeling  of  my  present  estate,  I  struck 
at  his  heart,  but,  with  his  avoiding,  missed  my  aim,  yet 


184  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

passed  through  the  body,  and,  drawing  out  my  sword,  re- 
passed  it  again  through  another  place,  when  he  cried  :  "  Oh  ! 
I  am  slain !"  seconding  his  speech  with  all  the  force  he  had 
to  cast  me.  But  being  too  weak,  after  I  had  defended  his 
assault,  I  easily  became  master  of  him,  laying  him  on  his 
back.  When  being  upon  him,  I  re-demanded  if  he  would 
request  his  life  ;  but  it  seemed  he  prized  it  not  at  so  dear  a 
rate  to  be  beholden  for  it,  bravely  replying,  "  He  scorned 
it."  Which  answer  of  his  was  so  noble  and  worthy,  as  I 
protest  I  could  not  find  in  my  heart  to  offer  him  any  more 
violence,  only  keeping  him  down  until  at  length  his  surgeon, 
afar  off,  cried,  "  He  would  immediately  die  if  his  wounds 
were  not  stopped."  Whereupon  I  asked  him  if  he  desired 
his  surgeon  should  come,  which  he  accepted  of ;  and  so,  be- 
ing drawn  away,  I  never  6ffered  to  take  his  sword,  account- 
ing it  inhuman  to  rob  a  dead  man,  for  so  I  held  him  to  be. 
This  thus  ended,  I  retired  to  my  surgeon,  in  whose  arms, 
after  I  had  remained  awhile,  for,  want  of  blood  I  lost  my 
sight,  and  withal,  as  I  then  thought,  my  life  also.  But 
strong  water  and  his  diligence  quickly  recovered  me  ;  when 
I  escaped  a  great  danger  ;  for  my  Lord's  surgeon,  when  no- 
body dreamt  of  it,  came  full  at  me  with  his  Lord's  sword, 
and  had  not  mine  with  my  sword  interposed  himself,  I  had 
been  slain  by  those  base  hands;  although  my  Lord  Bruce, 
weltering  in  his  blood,  and  past  all  expectation  of  life,  con- 
formable to  all  his  former  carriage,  which  was  undoubtedly 
noble,  cried  out,  "  Rascal,  hold  thy  hand  !" 

One  of  the  most  noted  duels  ever  fought  in  Eng- 
land was  that  between  the  Duke  of  Hamilton  and 
Lord  Mohun,  in  Hyde  Park,  London,  with  small 
swords,  on  the  i5th  of  November,  1712.  Mohun  was 
at  one  time  as  great  a  scamp  as  ever  lived,  and  had 
been  concerned  in  several  fatal  encounters  and  was 
twice  tried  for  murder.  After  having  been  acquitted 
of  the  assassination  of  Mr.  Montford,  an  actor,  "  he 
expressed  his  confusion  for  the  many  scandals  he 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  185 

had  brought  upon  his  degree,  as  a  peer,"  says  Noble, 
"and  promised  to  behave  himself  so  for  the  future 
as  not  to  give  further  scandal;  and  he  afterwards 
applied  himself  to  pursuits  becoming  his  station,  and 
in  the  House  of  Peers  often  distinguished  himself  by 
judicious  speeches.  He  afterward  accompanied  the 
Earl  of  Macclesfield  to  Hanover,  and  lived  with 
great  sobriety."  Shortly  after  this,  Macclesfield  died 
and  left  Mohun  a  large  estate.  Later,  Macclesfield 's 
bachelor  brother  dying,  a  dispute  arose  about  the 
property  between  the  Duke  of  Hamilton  (who  had 
married  Elizabeth,  sole  heir  of  said  property)  and 
Lord  Mohun  (who  also  had  claims  upon  the  estate), 
and  during  their  presence  at  an  examination  before 
a  Master  of  Chancery,  Hamilton  reflected  upon  Mr 
Whitworth,  who  had  been  steward  in  the  Macclesfield 
family,  and  said  that  "he  had  neither  truth  nor 
justice  in  him;"  to  which  Mohun  replied  that  "  he 
had  as  much  as  his  grace."  On  the  following  day 
Lieutenant-General  Maccartney  conveyed  a  chal- 
lenge from  the  Duke  to  Mohun,  and  on  the  next 
morning  (Sunday)  the  two  gentlemen  met,  and  each 
killed  the  other,  after  a  prolonged  and  savage  fight 
Colonel  Hamilton,  the  Duke's  second  (and  cousin), 
who  was  severely  wounded  by  Mohun's  second,  made 
oath,  according  to  some  accounts,  that  the  Duke  of 
Hamilton  received  his  mortal  wound  from  General 
Maccartney;  which  was  partly  corroborated  by  one 
of  the  surgeons,  who  declared  that  Hamilton  could 
not  have  received  his  death-thrust  from  Mohun. 
Maccartney  at  once  quit  the  country,  but  afterward 
returned,  and  was  tried  for  murder  and  acquitted, 
and  was  discharged  of  the  manslaughter  by  burning 
with  a  cold  iron  to  prevent  an  appeal  of  murder. 


1 86  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Of  modern  English  duels,  none,  perhaps,  was  more 
causeless,  or  more  replete  in  distressing  detail  and 
circumstance,  than  the  fatal  encounter  between 
Captain  Best,  of  the  British  army,  and  Lord  Thomas 
Camelford.  The  duel  took  place  near  Holland 
House,  London,  March  10,  1804.  Camelford  and 
Best  had  always  been  close  friends,  and  both  were 
very  fond  of  women  and  wine  and  cards.  Early  in 
the  month  above  named  they  had  spent  a  few  hours 
one  evening  at  Hammond's,  a  noted  gaming-place, 
when  Camelford  retired  and  left  his  companion  at 
play  with  one  Symons,  who  had  already  commenced 
to  fleece  Best  through  the  medium  of  marked  cards. 
The  Captain  shortly  afterward  caught  the  sharper 
just  as  he  was  about  to  introduce  some  extra  cards 
from  within  a  sleeve  of  his  coat;  and,  jumping  up, 
seized  Symons  by  the  throat,  and  hurled  him  vio- 
lently to  the  floor,  and  then  kicked  his  face  into  a 
jelly,  and  otherwise  so  bruised  the  cheat  that  his  wife 
hardly  recognized  him  when  they  met.  Mrs.  Symons 
became  pallid  with  anger  and  disappointment,  and 
promised  her  husband  that  he  should  be  avenged. 
"Leave  the  fellow  to  me!"  the  mad  woman  ex- 
claimed, "  and  I  will  see  to  it  that  he  gets  his 
deserts."  So  she  sat  down,  quietly,  with  hell's  own 
fury  delineated  in  her  face,  and  wrote  to  Camelford, 
as  follows:  "I  beg  you  to  be  strictly  on  your  guard 
in  your  future  dealings  and  associations  with  Captain 
Best,  who  speaks  of  your  lordship  in  disrespectful 
and  disdainful  terms,  especially  when  he  is  beside 
himself  with  wine."  "  There,"  she  murmured,  after 
folding  and  addressing  the  note,  "  is  your  death-war- 
rant, my  noble  Captain;  and  I  smile  while  contem- 
plating the  consequences."  In  due  time  the  letter 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  1 8? 

reached  Camelford;  and,  upon  his  next  meeting  with 
Best,  he  declined  to  accept  his  friend's  hand,  and 
said:  "  Pardon  me,  Captain,  if  I  inform  you  that  our 
acquaintance  must  terminate.  It  has  lasted  too  long, 
already."  ''Your  lordship  has  the  most  perfect 
liberty  to  do  as  he  deems  best;  but,  pardon  me,  my 
lord,  if  I  ask  you  to  assign  a  reason  for  such  action  ?" 
interrogated  the  other,  calmly.  "  Speaking  of  me 
disrespectfully  and  disdainfully  behind  my  back 
seem  to  me  to  be  reasons  abundant."  "  And,  pray, 
sir,  who  is  your  informant  ?"  "  I  do  not  care  to 
make  that  known."  "  O,  of  course  not."  "Sir,  what 
do  you  mean  ?"  "  I  mean,  sir,  that  your  conduct  is 
ungentlemanly  and  dishonorable — do  you  under- 
stand that,  my  lord?"  "I  understand  you  to  be  a 
liar  and  a  scoundrel,  Captain  Best,  and  I  want 
nothing  more  whatever  to  do  with  you."  "That  is 
perfectly  satisfactory,  sir,  except  that  I  shall  hold 
you  responsible  for  your  language.  Some  one  has 
been  slandering  me  and  making  a  fool  of  you." 
But  Camelford  had  strode  away.  In  the  meantime 
Best  made  some  effort  to  solve  the  cause  of  his 
friend's  misconduct,  never  for  a  moment  dreaming 
of  Symons  or  his  vindictive  wife.  It  was  soon  set- 
tled that  they  should  fight  with  pistols,  as  both  were 
excellent  shots.  When  they  appeared  upon  the  field, 
each  accompanied  by  two  seconds,  Best  said:  "It  is 
scarcely  probable,  my  lord,  that  both  of  us  can 
leave  here  alive.  You  have  undoubtedly  been  im- 
posed upon;  and  for  that  reason  I  am  even  now 
willing  to  receive  an  explanation  of  your  action,  not- 
withstanding the  gravity  of  the  insult.  We  have 
long  been  good  friends,  and  I  am  anxious  to  make  a 
last  effort  towards  reconciliation."  "  I  decline  to 


1 88  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

retract  a  word;  it  is  too  late.  We  came  here  for 
another  purpose,  and  I  am  ready,"  replied  Camelford. 
They  then  took  their  positions  at  fifteen  paces;  and, 
at  the  drop  of  a  white  handkerchief  held  by  one  of 
the  seconds  (who  had  taken  up  his  position  midway 
between  them,  but  out  of  range),  and  the  words 
"  One — two — three — fire  !"  both  gentlemen  discharged 
their  weapons  simultaneously;  Camelford  drop- 
ping to  the  earth  mortally  wounded  and  Best 
escaping  unhurt.  The  dying  man  then  raised  him- 
self upon  his  right  hand,  and  motioned  for  his  adver- 
sary to  approach,  when  he  whispered:  "You  have 
killed  me,  Best;  but  the  fault  is  wholly  mine,  and  I 
relieve  you  of  all  blame.  Shake  hands  with  me,  and 
forgive  me,  and  then  fly  and  save  yourself  from 
arrest."  Best  and  his  seconds  then  mounted  their 
horses  and  rode  to  Hounslow;  and  Camelford's 
seconds,  becoming  demoralized,  also  fled,  leaving 
their  principal  to  die  alone  on  the  field. 

A  mistaken  sense  of  honor  prevented  Lord  Camel- 
ford  from  accepting  terms  of  reconciliation;  for, 
as  the  reader  is  aware,  the  slightest  explanation 
would  have  been  the  means  of  an  adjustment  that 
would  have  been  strictly  honorable  to  both  parties. 
These  reflections  may  serve  to  introduce  another 
affair  which  ought  never  to  have  taken  place — the 
duel  between  Captain  Stackpole,  of  the  British  frig- 
ate Statira,  and  Lieutenant  Cecil,  of  the  Argo.  A 
naval  officer  once  inquired  of  Lieutenant  Cecil  if  he 
knew  Captain  Stackpole;  to  which  he  replied  that  he 
did,  and  that  he  had  the  highest  opinion  of  him  as  an 
intrepid  officer  and  skilful  seaman;  adding,  however, 
that  he  believed  him  capable  of  occasionally  drawing 
a  long  bow.  This  remark  at  last  reached  the  ears  of 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  189 

Stackpole,  who,  after  satisfying  himself  that  Cecil 
had  made  use  of  such  words,  declared  that  he  would 
hold  the  lieutenant  to  an  account  for  them  when  and 
wherever  he  met  him.  It  was  so  far  fortunate  that 
they  did  not  meet  for  four  years;  but  the  opportu- 
nity at  last  arrived,  when  the  Statira  was  lying  in  the 
harbor  of  Port  Royal  (Jamaica),  and  the  Argo,  of 
which  Lieutenant  Cecil  was  senior  officer,  happened 
to  enter  that  port.  Immediately  on  Captain  Stack- 
pole  being  made  aware  of  the  circumstance  he  sent 
Lieutenant  White  on  board  the  Argo,  with  a  message 
to  Cecil  demanding  an  immediate  meeting  or  a 
suitable  apology  for  the  slanderous  words  he  had 
used.  Lieutenant  Cecil  did  not  remember  just 
exactly  what  he  had  said;  but,  as  they  had  been 
quoted  by  a  brother  officer,  he  could  not,  as  a  man  of 
honor,  act  otherwise  than  avow  them;  and,  as  to  an 
apology,  he  wished  Captain  Stackpole  to  understand 
that,  under  all  the  circumstances,  while  he  should 
have  no  objection  in  apologizing  to  any  other  officer 
in  his  majesty's  navy,  he  could  not  do  so  to  the  Cap- 
tain of  the  Statira,  who  was  known  throughout  the 
service  as  an  excellent  shot.  In  consequence  of  this 
reply  the  parties  met  at  a  place  called  Park  Hender- 
son on  the  following  morning,  April  28,  1814,  and 
took  their  ground  at  ten  paces.  They  both  fired  at 
the  same  time,  and  Stackpole  was  instantly  killed, 
never  even  uttering  a  groan. 

The  duel  between  Colonel  Grey  and  Major 
Egerton,  of  the  British  army,  was  fought  at  Putney 
Heath,  in  the  year  1761.  Egerton,  while  returning 
from  the  theatre  one  evening  with  a  lady,  was  run 
into  carelessly  by  Grey,  who  was  somewhat  under 
the  influence  of  liquor.  Egerton,  in  his  excitement 


I9O  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

applied  the  term  "  stupid  booby"  to  Grey,  who  at- 
tempted to  draw  his  sword.  Seeing  this,  Egerton, 
instead  of  hurrying  away  with  his  lady,  imprudently 
knocked  the  tipsy  officer  down,  and  received  a  chal- 
lenge the  following  morning,  which  he  promptly 
accepted.  The  next  afternoon  they  met,  each  with 
two  seconds,  who  quietly  measured  off  the  distance, 
which  was  ten  paces.  The  principals  then  confronted 
each  other  with  pistols,  and  both  fired  simultaneously 
without  effect.  The  seconds  then  attempted  to  end 
the  meeting,  but  Grey  demanded  another  shot. 
Captain  Clifford,  one  of  the  seconds  of  the  latter, 
again  gave  the  signal,  and  Grey  fell  dead  and 
Egerton  received  a  wound  in  the  side. 

In  1829,  in  England,  the  Earl  of  Winchelsea  was 
challenged  by  the  Duke  of  Wellington,  and  the  dis- 
tinguished gentlemen  met  with  pistols.  The  Duke 
fired  first  without  injuring  the  Earl,  who  discharged 
his  weapon  in  the  air,  and  subsequently  acknowl- 
edged, through  his  second,  that  he  had  made  expres- 
sions against  the  Duke  which  were  not  warranted  by 
facts,  which  he  greatly  regretted,  and  for  which  he 
would  amply  apologize. 

A  violent  polemic  had  lasted  for  a  long  time  be- 
tween two  Bonapartist  journals  of  Paris  (le  Petit  Cap- 
oral  and  le  Combat],  which  resulted  in  a  duel  between 
the  two  editors-in-chief  (Diehard,  of  the  Petit  Caporal, 
and  De  Massas,  of  the  Combat).  The  police,  however, 
interfered  with  the  first  meeting,  and  the  fight  was 
therefore  further  continued  in  the  columns  of  the  two 
papers;  until,  finally,  it  was  agreed  that  Paul  de  Cas- 
sagnac  and  Cuneo  d'Ornano  should  be  called  as  arbi- 
ters. These  gentlemen  declared  that  a  duel  was 
necessary,  and  so  Diehard  and  Massas  met  again 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  \§\ 

September  3,  1882,  in  a  private  park  at  Nogent  on  the 
Marne.  Monsieur  de  Massas  at  once  attacked  his  ad- 
versary with  vigor,  and  wounded  him  three  times  (in 
his  head,  on  the  shoulder,  and  in  the  hand),  where- 
upon Diehard  rushed  desperately  upon  and  stabbed 
Massas  through  his  lungs,  who  staggered  and  fell  on 
his  back.  Friends  immediately  hastened  to  the  side 
of  the  wounded  man;  and  the  doctor,  upon  examin- 
ing the  wound,  perceived  that  no  blood  was  flowing 
— "  the  surest  sign  of  death,"  he  said.  The  internal 
hemorrhage  was  not  long  in  doing  its  worst;  for,  in  a 
few  moments,  without  saying  another  word,  De  Mas- 
sas made  the  sign  of  the  cross  and  expired.  The  re- 
mains were  taken  to  his  residence  at  Colombes,  near 
Paris,  where  his  mourning  widow  and  her  four  chil- 
dren are  living  at  present.  Dichard's  wounds  did  not 
prove  to  be  serious  or  severe.  De  Massas  was  but 
thirty- three  years  of  age.  He  had  been  an  officer  in 
the  Third  Infantry  regiment  of  the  Marine,  and  had 
distinguished  himself  during  the  war  of  1870. 

In  an  avenue  of  the  forest  of  Planoise,  at  a  short 
distance  from  Autun,  two  men  met  on  the  i8th  of 
May,  1883,  with  swords  in  their  hands,  and  exchanged 
a  few  strokes.  Suddenly  the  seconds  heard  a  cry  and 
saw  one  of  the  combatants  fall  to  the  ground.  They 
hastened  to  his  support;  but,  in  four  hours  afterward, 
the  wounded  man  was  dead.  In  explanation,  it  may 
be  stated  that  M.  Asselin,  of  the  Department  of  the 
Saone  and  Loire,  was  the  possessor  of  a  very  rich  es- 
tate; and,  having  been  invested  with  the  title  of  Lieu- 
tenant of  Game-Hunting,  he  assumed  the  privilege  of 
operating  over  a  vast  domain  for  the  purpose  of  rid- 
ding the  neigboring  country  of  various  kinds  of  de- 
structive game.  Monsieur  de  Saint  Victor — fifty 


I Q2  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

years  old  and  without  a  fortune — had  been  an  officer 
of  the  Cuirassiers.  After  quitting  service  he  had  ac- 
cepted an  offer  of  his  cousins  (the  Talleyrand-Peri- 
gords)  to  act  as  superintendent  of  their  large  estates 
in  the  Department  of  the  Saone  and  Loire.  Saint 
Victor  did  not  approve  at  all  of  the  frequent  presence 
on  the  latter-named  estates  of  Monsieur  Asselin;  and, 
therefore,  directed  his  employees  to  quietly  and  care- 
fully watch  the  movements  of  this  gentleman  when 
on  hunting  expeditions  which  took  him  over  the 
Talleyrand  property.  It  was  not  long  before  Asselin 
had  organized  a  boar-hunting  expedition,  at  which 
one  of  Saint  Victor's  vigilant  guards  presented  a  com- 
plaint to  the  effect  that  Asselin  had  exceeded  his 
powers  by  not  announcing  his  visit  previously,  as  re- 
quired by  the  law.  And  Monsieur  de  Saint  Victor, 
while  he  did  not  intend  to  proceed  legally,  transmit- 
ted a  letter  to  Monsieur  Asselin,  in  which  he  ap- 
proved of  the  action  of  his  subaltern.  A  lively  dis- 
cussion followed,  of  course;  and,  after  an  exchange  of 
several  letters  between  the  two  gentlemen,  Asselin 
despatched  two  of  his  friends  to  De  Saint  Victor  with 
authority  to  effect  terms  of  permanent  settlement. 
The  latter,  on  his  part,  selected  two  friends,  and  a 
duel  was  quickly  agreed  upon;  and  De  Saint  Victor 
(who  had  been  an  officer  of  cavalry)  chose  the  saber 
as  a  weapon,  expressing  the  hope  "that  the  duel 
would  have  a  good  ending."  "  Is  it  a  duel  for  life  and 
death  that  he  wants  ?"  interrogated  Asselin,  who 
was  an  expert  only  with  pistols  and  the  sword,  but 
not  with  the  saber.  "  Oui,  Monsieur."  At  which 
Asselin  rushed  furiously  upon  De  Saint  Victor  and 
gave  him  a  stab  of  such  force  that  his  weapon  went 
clean  through  the  intestines  and  out  by  the  spinal 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  193 

cord,  causing  almost  instant  death.  "  I  am  dying," 
murmured  De  Saint  Victor;  "call  my  wife  and  a 
priest."  He  was  then  taken  to  a  house  at  Fragny, 
and  Madame  de  Saint  Victor  was  sent  for,  and  arrived 
just  in  time  to  receive  the  last  breath  of  her  husband. 
The  survivor  only  received  a  slight  cut  or  two  on  the 
hand  and  cheek. 

On  the  4th  of  September,  1843,  in  the  commune  of 
Maisonfort,  France,  two  young  men  named  Lenfant 
and  Melfant,  quarrelled  while  playing  at  billiards, 
and  agreed,  at  last,  to  settle  their  disturbance  by  a 
duel  with  billiard  balls;  after  which  they  drew  lots  to 
see  which  one  should  get  the  red  ball  and  throw  first. 
Melfant  won  the  red  ball  and  the  first  throw,  and  the 
two  at  once  took  their  positions  in  a  garden  at  a 
measured  distance  of  twelve  paces  from  each  other. 
Melfant,  when  the  signal  was  given  to  throw,  made 
several  motions,  saying  to  his  adversary,  "  I  am 
going  to  kill  you  at  the  first  throw."  And  then  he 
hurled  the  ivory  sphere  with  deadly  aim  and  effect, 
for  it  struck  Lenfant  in  the  middle  of  the  forehead, 
and  he  dropped  dead  without  uttering  a  word.  The 
survivor  was  arrested  and  tried  for  wilful  murder,  and 
convicted  of  manslaughter. 

Lord  Shelburne  (with  Lord  Frederick  Cavendish 
as  his  second)  and  Colonel  Fullerton  (accompanied 
by  Lord  Balcarras)  met  in  Hyde  Park,  March  22, 
1780,  and  fought  with  pistols  at  twelve  paces.  After 
the  parties  had  taken  their  ground  Colonel  Fullerton 
desired  Lord  Shelburne  to  fire  first,  which  he  declined 
to  do.  The  seconds  then  commanded  Fullerton  to 
fire,  which  he  did,  and  missed.  Then  Shelburne  fired 
and  missed.  Fullerton  then  fired  a  second  shot  and 
hit  his  antagonist  in  the  right  groin.  Mr.  Shelburne, 


194  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

however,  declined  to  give  up  his  pistol  to  his  second, 
saying,  "I  have  not  yet  fired  a  second  time."  Mr. 
Fullerton,  at  this,  returned  to  his  place,  which  he  had 
left  with  a  view  of  assisting  his  lordship,  and  com- 
manded Mr.  Shelburne  to  fire.  The  latter  cried  out, 
"  No,  sir;  I  hope  you  don't  think  I  would  fire  again  at 
you;"  and  his  lordship  then  discharged  his  weapon  in 
the  air.  The  seconds  then  asked  Shelburne  if  he  had 
any  difficulty  in  declaring  he  meant  nothing  personal 
to  the  Colonel,  and  he  replied,  "  This  is  no  time  for  ex- 
planation, as  the  affair  has  taken  another  course.  Al- 
though I  am  wounded,  I  am  able  to  go  on  if  Colonel 
Fullerton  feels  any  resentment."  The  latter  declared 
that  he  was  incapable  of  harboring  any  such  senti- 
ment. "Besides,"  added  Fullerton,  "  as  your  lord- 
ship is  wounded,  and  you  have  fired  in  the  air,  it  is 
impossible  for  me  to  go  on."  Both  were  members  of 
Parliament  at  the  time,  and  Fullerton  had  been  com- 
missioned a  Lieutenant-Colonel  in  the  army  and  had 
been  a  member  of  the  English  Embassy  at  the  Court 
of  France.  The  cause  of  the  duel  was  an  attack  upon 
Fullerton  by  Shelburne,  who  intimated  that  the  Colo- 
nel and  his  regiment  were  as  ready  to  act  against  the 
liberties  of  England  as  against  her  enemies. 

A  duel  of  much  the  same  character  took  place  in 
Hyde  Park  between  William  Adam  and  Charles 
James  Fox,  Members  of  Parliament,  in  1789.  Gen- 
eral Fitzpatrick  acted  as  second  for  Mr.  Fox,  and 
Major  Humbertson  for  Mr.  Adam.  The  latter  fired 
first  and  wounded  Fox,  who  fired  without  effect. 
The  seconds  then  interfered  and  asked  Mr.  Adam  if 
he  was  satisfied,  who  replied,  "Will  Mr.  Fox  declare 
he  meant  no  personal  attack  upon  my  character?" 
Upon  which  the  latter  said,  "This  is  no  place  for 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  19$ 

apologies — go  on."  Mr.  Adam  then  fired  his  second 
pistol  without  effect,  and  Mr.  Fox  discharged  his  re- 
maining weapon  in  the  air,  and  declared  that,  as  the 
affair  was  ended,  he  had  no  difficulty  in  stating  that 
he  meant  no  more  personal  affront  to  Mr.  Adam  than 
he  did  to  either  of  the  other  gentlemen  present.  Mr. 
Adam  then  advanced  and  replied,  "  Sir,  you  have 
behaved  like  a  man  of  honor."  Mr.  Fox  then  said 
that  he  believed  himself  wounded,  which  was  a  fact. 
It  is  a  curious  circumstance  that  Adam  wounded  his 
antagonist  with  the  same  pistol  with  which  Fullerton 
used  in  his  duel  with  Shelburne  a  few  months  before, 
and  that  both  gentlemen  were  hit  in  the  groin.  Mr. 
Fox,  in  speaking  of  the  duel  afterward,  maintained 
the  same  opinion  he  had  expressed  in  interrupting 
Colonel  Fullerton  in  his  invective  against  Lord  Shel- 
burne— that  "if  it  were  once  admitted  as  a  principle 
that  a  personal  affront  was  offered  to  gentlemen 
whenever  their  names  and  conduct  were  mentioned, 
the  most  essential  of  all  the  rights  of  Parliament 
would  be  lost,  and  there  would  be  an  end  to  all  free- 
dom of  debate." 

Manuel  and  Beaumont  were  wealthy  bankers  and 
stockbrokers  of  Paris.  Mrs.  Manuel,  who  was  young 
and  beautiful,  had  fallen  in  love  with  Beaumont. 
Of  this  fact  Manuel  was  first  notified  by  one  of 
those  cunning  devils — an  anonymous  correspondent. 
Thereupon  he  watched  the  erring  couple,  and  soon 
learned  the  worst.  He  immediately  quarrelled  with 
and  challenged  Beaumont,  and  they  soon  afterward 
met  with  pistols,  and  Manuel  was  shot  dead.  This 
affair  took  place  in  the  Bois  de  Boulogne  in  1821. 
Previous  to  the  fatal  meeting,  Manuel,  who  was  an 
excellent  man,  besought  his  erring  wife  to  abandon 


IQ  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Beaumont.  "  For  the  sake  of  our  six  children,"  en- 
treated the  frantic  husband,  "  give  up  this  base  man. 
If  you  are  lost  to  all  honor,  yourself,  spare  our  dear 
little  ones  the  further  taints  of  your  dishonor  and 
disgrace."  But  the  guilty  creature  turned  a  deaf  ear 
to  these,  the  last  words  of  her  husband.  In  a  short 
time  after  the  killing  of  Manuel,  Beaumont  aban- 
doned Mrs.  M.,  of  course.  Both  gentlemen  were 
possessors  of  great  wealth. 

An  exciting  duel  took  place  during  the  reign  of 
Henry  the  Third  of  France  between  two  officers 
named  Deveze  and  Soeilles.  The  latter  had  been 
discovered  to  be  on  too  intimate  terms  with  the  wife  of 
Deveze,  who  challenged  his  brother-officer  and  shot 
him  in  the  shoulder.  After  his  recovery  Soeilles 
challenged  Deveze,  who  accepted,  fired  first,  and  then 
turned  and. showed  his  heels.  Soeilles  afterward  be- 
trayed Deveze's  sister,  and  was  waylaid  and  killed  by 
Deveze  as  soon  as  he  was  made  aware  of  the  fact ; 
while  the  latter  was  in  turn  murdered  by  a  cousin  of 
Soeilles  named  D'Aubinac. 

La  Fontaine,  who  had  a  very  pretty  wife,  became 
jealous  of  a  young  officer,  whose  really  honorable  in- 
tentions were  too  marked  to  please  a  certain  gentle- 
man of  the  lago  stamp — and  who,  in  reality,  was  at 
the  bottom  of  the  whole  affair,  and  who  was  quite 
willing  to  see  either  the  old  philosopher  or  the  young 
ensign  or  both  put  out  of  the  way — and  a  duel  was 
the  consequence.  La  Fontaine  was  disarmed,  artisti- 
cally, when  he  invited  his  antagonist  home,  where  the 
madame  met  them  at  the  door,  and  kissed  them,  as 
was  her  custom  often  before  they  fought. 

On  March  19,  1778,  the  Count  d'Artois  (the 
youngest  brother  of  the  French  King)  and  the  Duke 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  1 97 

of  Bourbon  (a  son  of  the  Prince  of  Cond6)  fought 
with  swords,  near  Paris  ;  and,  after  a  furious  en- 
counter, d'Artois  was  wounded  in  the  arm.  This 
duel  grew  out  of  an  affair  at  a  masquerade,  at  which 
the  Duchess  of  Bourbon  lifted  the  mask  of  the  Count 
— who  was  incognito  with  a  dismissed  lady  of  honor 
(Madame  de  Cavillac) — and  had  her  nose  vigorously 
wrung  for  her  pains,  to  the  great  confusion  of  all 
present.  The  young  Count  was  afterwards  exiled  by 
the  King,  notwithstanding  the  injuries  he  had  re- 
ceived in  his  duel  with  the  husband  of  the  meddle- 
some Madame  la  Duchesse  de  Bourbonne — who  was, 
in  fact,  greatly  infatuated  with  the  young  Count,  and 
was  naturally  enough  turbulent  with  jealousy  and 
rage  at  the  presence  together  of  d'Artois  and  the  be- 
witching De  Cavillac. 

On  the  iyth  of  November,  1778,  at  Bath  (England), 
Count  Rice  and  Viscount  du  Barry  quarrelled  at  the 
home  of  the  latter,  and  agreed  to  settle  their  disturb- 
ance just  outside  of  the  city  the  next  morning  at  day- 
light. Early  the  following  day  the  principals  met 
according  to  agreement,  accompanied  by  seconds  and 
a  surgeon,  provided  with  pistols  and  swords.  As 
soon  as  they  arrived,  the  ground  was  marked  out  by 
the  seconds,  and  the  principals  took  their  places. 
Viscount  du  Barry  fired  first  and  lodged  his  bullet  in 
Rice's  thigh,  the  ball  from  the  Count's  weapon  tak- 
ing effect  in  Du  Barry's  breast ;  at  the  second  shot 
they  both  fired  together,  but  their  pistols  "flashed  in 
the  pan."  They  then  threw  away  their  pistols  and 
advanced  toward  each  other  with  their  drawn  swords, 
when,  all  of  a  sudden,  Du  Barry  fell,  saying:  " Je 
vous  demand  ma  vie"  (I  ask  you  for  my  life)  ;  to  which 
Rice  replied  ;  "  Je  vous  la  donne"  (I  give  it  to  you)-, 


198  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

and  in  a  few  seconds  Du  Barry  expired.  Rice  was  at 
once  conveyed  to  his  own  home,  where  he  lay  in  great 
agony  for  a  long  time,  but  finally  recovered.  The 
coroner's  jury  rendered  a  verdict  of  manslaughter, 
but  at  the  trial  Rice  was  acquitted. 

On  July  i,  1843,  Lieutenant-Colonel  David  Lynar 
Fawcett,  of  the  Fifty-fifth  Regiment  (British)  Foot, 
was  killed  by  Lieutenant  Alexander  Thompson  of  the 
Royal  Horse-Guards.  The  two  officers  had  married 
sisters,  and  the  settlement  of  some  property  which 
had  fallen  to  the  ladies  had  been  left  to  Thompson, 
whose  manner  of  proceeding  had  not  been  satis- 
factory to  Fawcett.  The  latter  not  only  gave  the 
lieutenant  a  vigorous  piece  of  his  mind  concerning 
the  matter  in  trust,  but  ordered  him  out  of  his  (Faw- 
cett's)  house — this,  on  the  3oth  of  June,  1843.  "You 
shall  hear  from  me,  sir,  for  this,  immediately,"  ex- 
claimed Thompson,  as  he  departed.  "  And  you  will 
not  have  to  wait  long  for  a  reply,  rest  assured,"  re- 
joined Fawcett.  They  fought  with  pistols  at  Camden 
Town  the  following  morning,  and  Fawcett  received  a 
mortal  wound  in  the  side  at  the  first  fire,  and  died  in 
three  days.  On  the  4th  of  May,  1790,  Mr.  Power,  son 
of  Richard  Power,  fought  with  Captain  Grumbleton, 
of  the  Thirteenth  Dragoons,  in  the  county  of  Water- 
ford  (Ireland).  The  weapons  were  pistols,  at  twelve 
paces,  and  Mr.  Power  fell  mortally  wounded  at  the 
first  fire,  and  died  while  being  taken  home. 

On  the  4th  of  September,  1783,  Colonel  Cosmo 
Gordon  and  Lieutenant-Colonel  Thomas  met  at 
Hyde  Park  and  fought  with  pistols.  The  terms 
were  that  they  should,  after  receiving  their  weapons, 
advance  and  fire  when  they  pleased.  When  within 
about  eight  yards  the  Colonel  fired  without  effect, 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  1 99 

but  was  wounded  by  his  antagonist  in  the  thigh. 
They  fired  the  second  time  without  effect ;  but  at  the 
third  fire  Thomas  fell  mortally  wounded,  and  died 
while  being  taken  from  the  field.  On  the  seven- 
teenth of  the  following  month  of  the  same  year, 
Captain  Munro,  of  the  Sixteenth  Regiment  of  Dra- 
goons, and  Mr.  Green  met  with  their  seconds  near 
Battersea  bridge  and  fired  at  each  other  three  times, 
when  Green  was  wounded  in  the  side.  The  seconds 
then  asked  Mr.  Green  if  he  was  satisfied,  and  he 
replied  that  he  was  not  unless  Mr.  Munro  was  willing 
to  make  a  public  apology  ;  which  the  latter  declined 
to  do.  "Then  one  of  us  must  die,"  exclaimed  Green; 
and  they  again  fired,  Mr.  Munro  receiving  a  bullet  in 
the  knee  and  Mr.  Green  one  in  the  heart. 

An  exciting  event  transpired  at  Madrid  in  1855; 
many  accounts  of  which  (some  of  them  very  contra- 
dictory) were  published  at  the  time  in  English, 
French,  and  American  newspapers.  It  seems  that  at 
a  soiree  given  at  Madrid  by  Marquis  de  Turgot  (the 
French  ambassador),  at  which  were  present  Pierre 
Soule  (Minister  from  the  United  States  to  Spain)  and 
his  wife,  the  latter  was  likened  to  Margaret  of  Bur- 
gundy, in  the  hearing  of  her  son,  Neville  Soule,  by 
the  Duke  d'Alba.  The  next  day  the  latter  was  chal- 
lenged by  young  Soule,  and  upon  the  following  morn- 
ing the  parties  met  and  fought  with  swords  for  more 
than  half  an  hour,  when  the  Duke  was  wounded  in 
the  neck;  after  which  their  seconds  (Colonel  Milans 
del  Bosch  and  Secretary  Perry  for  Mr.  Soule,  and  the 
Count  of  Punonrostro  and  General  de  la  Concha  for 
the  Duke)  brought  about  a  termination.  That  same 
day  it  became  very  generally  reported  thoughout 
genteel  society  in  Madrid  that  the  French  ambassa- 


200  THE  FIELD   OF 

dor  himself  had  first  made  use  of  the  insulting  ex- 
pression; and  he  was  promptly  challenged  by  the 
American  Minister,  which  challenge  was  accepted  by 
the  Marquis,  who  designated  pistols  as  weapons.  Mr. 
Soule  was  attended  by  M.  Picon  and  General  Valdes, 
and  de  Turgot  by  Lord  Howden  and  General  Caillier. 
They  fought  at  ten  paces  and  fired  once  without  ef- 
fect. At  the  second  fire  the  French  ambassador  was 
severely  wounded  in  the  left  leg  near  the  knee,  and 
fell  to  the  ground.  While  being  taken  to  his  carnage 
the  Marquis  stated  that  he  had  never  used  the  ex- 
pression, or  any  insulting  remarks  whatever,  regard- 
ing Mrs.  Soule,  as  reported.  The  New  York  Home 
Journal  of  January  18,  1884,  contained  a  description 
of  the  foregoing  duel  contributed  by  Mr.  A.  L. 
Taveau,  an  eye-witness,  as  follows: 

Upon  arriving  at  Madrid,  in  the  month  of  December,  1854, 
I  repaired  to  the  elegant  palace  of  the  American  Embassy 
with  letters  of  introduction.  But  I  had  scarcely  seen  the 
major-domo  disappear  up  the  massive  marble  stairway  with 
my  missive^  when,  in  a  few  moments,  one  of  the  most  remark- 
able men  I  ever  saw  came  descending  to  meet  me.  With 
both  hands  extended  for  a  cordial  shake  of  the  hand,  and  re- 
turning me,  at  the  same  time,  my  document,  he  exclaimed, 
"  Take  this  back,  my  friend,  you  come  from  a  State  of  gen- 
tlemen— a  gentleman  from  South  Carolina  needs  no  letters 
of  introduction  to  Pierre  Soule  ;"  and  shaking  my  hand  very 
cordially  with  both  of  his,  led  me  into  his  private  cabinet. 
His  tout  ensemble  was  so  striking  that  the  whole  man  was 
instantly  photographed  on  my  mind  ;  and  I  do  not  know 
how  better  to  draw  his  portrait  than  to  say  that  I  could  al- 
most imagine  myself  standing  in  the  presence  of  Napoleon 
Bonaparte.  Nor  was  it  a  personal  resemblance  alone ;  but 
his  whole  manner,  together  with  his  rapid  and  eloquent 
speech,  recalled  to  mind  all  that  his  biographers  tell  us  of 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  2OI 

the  emperor.  The  next  day  found  me  installed  in  his  cabi- 
net as  private  secretary  :  "  I  want  you,"  said  he,  "  to  receive 
my  letters,  read  them  over,  and  give  me  the  important 
points  of  each  ;  and  I  will  instruct  you  what  to  reply."  Such 
a  position  was  a  very  important  advantage  to  me,  as  it  im- 
mediately introduced  me  to  court,  and  gave  me  the  entree 
to  all  the  best  salons.  It  was  thus  that  I  was  enabled  to 
hear  everybody  talk  about  the  famous  duels,  and  ascertain 
the  facts  connected  with  them.  It  was  during  Mr.  Pierce's 
administration  that  the  subject  of  the  annexation  of  Cuba 
to  the  United  States  was  the  all-engrossing  topic  of  the  day ; 
and  Mr.  Soule,  who  had  warmly  supported  the  idea  in  Con- 
gress, was  appointed  by  Mr.  Pierce  as  Minister  to  Spain. 
This  appointment  was  so  distasteful  to  France  that  Mr. 
Soule,  on  entering  that  kingdom,  en  route  to  Spain,  was  sub- 
jected to  much  annoyance,  and  slighted  by  the  government 
of  Napoleon  III.  It  was  not  long  after  the  minister's  arri- 
val in  Madrid  that  it  was  made  known  to  him,  in  various 
ways,  by  the  minions  of  Louis  Napoleon,  that  his  presence, 
as  ambassador,  was  distasteful.  This  culminated  in  an  af- 
front offered  to  Madame  Soule  by  the  French  Minister, 
Monsieur  de  Turgot,  at  a  ball  given  at  his  own  palace,  to 
which,  of  course,  the  American  Minister  and  family  were  in- 
vited. When  the  Soules  arrived,  the  marquis,  with  the 
Duke  of  Alva  and  others,  were  standing  at  the  entrance-door 
of  the  ball-room.  The  Soules  paid  their  compliments  of 
salutation  to  the  host,  and  passed  on.  One  gentleman  re- 
marked both  upon  the  beauty  of  Madame  Soule  and  her  rich 
attire.  "  Dou  you  think  so  ?"  replied  the  marquis,  "  well, 
I  do  not  share  in  your  admiration  of  this  woman,  for  she 
strongly  reminds  me  of  Margaret  of  Burgundy."  So  shocked 
were  the  Soules'  friends  at  such  an  insulting  remark  by  the 
host  himself,  of  so  estimable  a  lady,  that  Mr.  Soule  was 
promptly  informed  of  it.  -  Walking  deliberately  toward  the 
marquis,  he  hunched  him  in  the  side  with  his  elbow,  and, 
giving  him  a  significant  look  from  his  splendid,  but  now 
fiery  eyes,  quietly  remarked  :  "  I  have  heard,  sir,  of  your  inde- 
cent remark ;  you  shall  also  hear  from  me  to-morrow  ;"  and, 


2O2  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

rejoining  his  family,  the  Soules  immediately  retired.  In  the 
meantime  it  began  to  be  whispered  about  that  the  remark 
had  originated  with  the  Duke  of  Alva.  He,  being  a  younger 
man,  Mr.  Soule's  son,  Nelville  Soule,  promptly  sent  him  a 
challenge  next  day.  This  the  duke  at  first  declined,  on  the 
plea  that  he  was  not  the  author  of  the  insulting  remarks. 
But  a  telegram  soon  came  from  France  announcing  to  him 
that,  unless  he  accepted  the  challenge,  he  was  no  more  to 
call  himself  the  brother-in-law  of  the  emperor — the  Duchesse 
of  Alva  and  Eugenie,  the  empress,  being  sisters.  This  set- 
tled the  matter  at  once.  The  challenge  was  accepted,  and 
the  duke  being  the  challenged  party,  exercised  the  privilege 
of  the  choice  of  weapons.  Being  one  of  the  best  swordsmen 
in  Spain,  he  chose  broadswords  as  the  weapons  for  the  com- 
bat. This  was  awkward  for  young  Soule,  who  had  never 
handled  a  sword  in  his  life.  Nevertheless,  the  choice  was 
accepted  and  an  instructor  procured.  Only  one  lesson,  how- 
ever, was  the  professor  allowed  to  give,  for  he  was  a  French- 
man, and  was  -promptly  warned  of  his  likelihood  of  being 
sent  to  Caen,  if  he  persisted.  With  one  lesson  did  the 
young  champion  of  America  enter  the  lists,  and  so  lustily  did 
his  sinewy  arm  sway  the  falchion,  that  the  duke  shortly  be- 
came demoralized,  and,  after  receiving  a  wound  in  the  neck, 
from  which  sangre  azul  (blue  blood)  poured  very  freely,  the 
fight  was  arrested  by  their  mutual  seconds,  and  satisfaction 
declared  given  and  received.  This  being  ended,  Mr.  Soule 
then  challenged  the  French  Minister,  M.  de  Turgot,  to  com- 
bat also.  The  challenge  was  promptly  accepted,  and  pistols 
chosen.  The  hostile  parties  met  outside  the  city,  in  an  open 
field,  bounded  on  one  side  by  a  high  wall,  adown  which,  was 
afterward  remarked,  descended  a  line,  in  front  of  which  Mr. 
Soule  was  unwittingly  posted.  Upon  shots  being  exchanged, 
the  marquis  fell  prostrate  to  the  ground — Mr.  Soule  unhurt 
remained  immovable  as  a  "  Stonewall  " — and  it  was  found 
that  Mr.  Soule's  ball  had  inflicted  a  very  painful,  if  not  dan- 
gerous wound  in  the  marquis'  hip.  The  fight  was  declared 
ended,  and  once  more  the  "star  spangled  banner  waved  over 
the  free  and  the  brave,"  at  the  American  embassy,  where  it 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  2O$ 

Continued  to  float,  unmolested  or  insulted  again  by  any 
power  until  Mr.  Soule's  return  to  America.  So  far  from 
these  duels  causing  the  Soule's  to  become  unpopular  with 
the  Madrilenos,  they  became  the  cynosure  of  all  eyes,  and 
received  the  most  marked  attention  from  the  whole  royal 
family.  The  writer  of  this,  having  remained  in  Madrid  the 
whole  winter,  was  thus  enabled,  personally,  to  see  not  only 
what  popularity  the  Soules  had  gained  by  their  courage,  but, 
also,  that  los  Etados  Unidos  (the  United  States)  were  more 
respected  than  ever. 


204  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 


CHAPTER  XL 

EUROPEAN  DUELS— CONTINUED. 

The  Fatal  Meeting  between  Colonel  Montgomery  and  Captain 
Macnamara — Two  Sanguinary  Affairs — Lord  Macartney's  Two 
Duels — A  Number  of  Memorable  Combats — The  Foolish  Apoth- 
ecary— How  Aldworth  Obtained  Satisfaction  —  A  Number  of 
Fatal  Duels — Fatal  Quarrel  between  English  Officers  concern- 
ing Americans — Alphonse  de  Lamartine's  Duel  —  M.  Pierre 
Bonaparte's  Affairs  of  Honor — Other  Quarrels  among  Distin- 
guished Persons — The  Fatal  Duel  between  Signers  Levito  and 
Nicotera,  the  Picturesque  Italian  Conspirator,  at  Rome  — 
Aurelian  Scholl,  the  Witty  Chroniqueur,  and  Count  Albert  de 
Dion  settle  their  Long-standing  Difficulty  with  Swords  at  the 
Race-course  of  Longchamps — Signer  Rossi's  Duel  at  Casala 
and  its  Consequences. 

THE  fatal  duel  between  Colonel  Montgomery,  of 
the  British  army,  and  Captain  Macnamara,  of  the 
British  navy,  in  1803,  may  be  presented  as  one  of  the 
most  melancholy  events  in  all  the  annals  of  duelling. 
Both  officers  had  distinguished  themselves  in  hard- 
fought  battles,  and  both  were  under  thirty  years  of 
age.  They  were  one  day  riding  in  Hyde  Park, 
accompanied  by  their  dogs.  The  latter  quarrelled, 
during  which  the  two  officers  got  into  an  angry  alter- 
cation, which  ended  by  Montgomery  presenting  Mac- 
namara his  card  of  address.  In  three  hours  afterward 
the  two  gentlemen  met  at  Primrose  Hill  —  Mont- 
gomery being  attended  by  Sir  William  Kier,  and 
Macnamara  by  Captain  Barry.  They  fought  with 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  2O5 

pistols,  at  twelve  paces,  and  at  the  first  fire  Mont- 
gomery received  Macnamara's  bullet  in  the  heart, 
and  the  latter  received  his  antagonist's  missile  in  the 
hip.  Colonel  Montgomery  was  taken  from  the  field 
dead,  and  Captain  Macnamara  was  shortly  afterward 
tried  at  the  Old  Bailey  on  a  charge  of  murder,  and 
acquitted.  During  the  trial  the  survivor  read  a 
paper  in  his  defence,  which  concluded  as  follows  : 

The  origin  of  the  difference,  as  you  see  it  in  the  evidence, 
was  insignificant.  The  heat  of  two  persons,  each  defending 
an  animal  under  his  protection,  was  natural,  and  could  not 
have  led  to  any  serious  consequences.  It  was  not  the  de- 
ceased's defending  his  own  dog,  nor  his  threatening  to 
destroy  mine,  that  led  me  to  the  fatal  catastrophe ;  it  was 
the  defiance  which  most  unhappily  accompanied  what  was 
said.  Words  receive  their  interpretation  from  the  avowed 
intention  of  the  speaker.  The  offence  was  forced  upon  me 
by  the  declaration  that  he  invited  me  to  be  offended,  and 
challenged  me  to  vindicate  the  offence  by  calling  upon  him 
for  satisfaction.  "  If  you  are  offended  with  what  has  passed, 
you  know  where  to  find  me."  These  words,  unfortunately 
repeated  and  reiterated,  have  over  and  over,  and  over  again, 
been  considered  by  criminal  courts  of  justice  as  sufficient  to 
support  an  indictment  for  a  challenge.  The  judgments  of 
courts  are  founded  upon  the  universal  understandings  and 
feelings  of  mankind,  and  common  candor  must  admit  that 
an  officer,  however  desirous  to  avoid  a  quarrel,  cannot  refuse 
to  understand  what  even  the  grave  judges  of  the  law  must 
interpret  as  a  provocation  and  a  defiance.  I  declare,  there- 
fore, most  solemnly  against  the  deceased  ;  nothing,  indeed, 
but  insanity  could  have  led  me  to  expose  my  own  life  to 
such  immense  peril,  under  the  impulse  of  passion  from  so 
inadequate  a  cause  as  the  evidence  before  you  exhibits,  when 
separated  from  the  defiance  which  was  the  fatal  source  of 
mischief,  and  I  could  well  have  overlooked  that  too  if  the 
world,  in  its  present  state,  could  have  overlooked  it  also.  I 


206  THE  FIELD  OF 

went  into  the  field,  therefore,  with  no  determination  or 
desire  to  take  the  life  of  my  opponent,  or  to  expose  my  own. 
I  went  there  in  hopes  of  receiving  some  soothing  satisfac- 
tion for  what  would  otherwise  have  exposed  me  in  the  gen- 
eral feelings  and  opinions  of  the  world.  The  deceased  was 
a  man  of  popular  manners,  as  I  have  heard,  and  with  a  very 
general  acquaintance.  I,  on  the  other  hand,  was  in  a  man- 
ner a  stranger  in  this  great  town,  having  been  devoted  from 
my  infancy  to  the  duties  of  my  profession  in  distant  seas. 
If,  under  these  circumstances,  the  words  which  the  deceased 
intended  to  be  offensive,  and  which  he  repeatedly  invited  to 
be  resented,  had  been  passed  by,  and  submitted  to,  they 
would  have  passed  from  mouth  to  mouth,  have  been  ever 
exaggerated  at  every  repetition,  and  my  honor  must  have 
been  lost.  Gentlemen,  I  am  a  captain  in  the  British  navy. 
My  character  you  can  only  hear  from  others  ;  but  to  main- 
tain my  character  and  station,  I  must  be  respected.  When 
called  upon  to  lead  others  into  honorable  danger,  I  must 
not  be  supposed  to  be  a  man  who  had  sought  safety  by  sub- 
mitting to  what  custom  has  taught  others  to  consider  as  a 
disgrace.  I  am  not  presuming  to  urge  anything  against  the 
laws  of  God  or  of  this  land.  I  know  that,  in  the  eye  of 
religion  and  reason,  obedience  to  the  law,  though  against 
the  general  feelings  of  the  world,  is  the  first  duty,  and  ought 
to  be  the  rule  of  action.  But  in  putting  a  construction  upon 
my  motives,  so  as  to  ascertain  the  quality  of  my  actions, 
you  will  make  allowances  for  my  situation.  It  is  impossible 
to  define  in  terms  the  proper  feelings  of  a  gentleman ;  but 
their  existence  have  supported  this  happy  country  many 
ages,  and  she  might  perish  if  they  were  lost.  Gentlemen,  I 
will  detain  you  no  longer;  I  will  bring  before  you  many 
honorable  persons  who  will  speak  what  they  know  of  me  in 
my  profession,  and  in  private  life,  which  will  the  better 
enable  you  to  judge  whether  what  I  have  offered  in  my 
defence  may  safely  be  received  by  you  as  truth.  Gentlemen, 
I  submit  myself  entirely  to  your  judgment.  I  hope  to 
obtain  my  liberty  through  your  verdict;  and  to  employ  it 
with  honor  in  the  defence  of  the  liberties  of  my  country. 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  2O? 

In  1721,  in  Lincoln's  Inn  Fields  (England),  Mr. 
Fulford  and  Captain  Cusack  met  with  swords,  at- 
tended by  two  seconds  on  each  side.  A  description 
of  this  duel,  in  an  old  English  magazine,  concludes 
as  follows:  "  It  had  lasted  but  a  few  minutes,  when 
Fulford  had  the  imprudence  to  raise  his  arm  and 
expose  his  chest ;  the  Captain's  sword  glided  swiftly 
below  it,  and  pierced  him  to  the  heart.  Fulford  fell 
back  and  died  without  a  groan."  The  same  maga- 
zine presents  a  graphic  description  of  the  duel  (in 
1589)  between  Henry  of  Essex  (who  bore  the  royal 
standard  of  Henry  II.  when  that  monarch  invaded 
Wales)  and  Robert  de  Montford — who  commenced 
their  fight  on  horseback,  and  followed  it  up  on  foot — 
which  concludes:  "The  encounter  was  desperate; 
and,  so  equal  were  the  parties  to  the  struggle,  that 
it  was  uncertain  to  give  the  chance  to  either.  At 
last,  with  a  more  than  human  strength,  and  with  a 
false  parry  on  the  side  of  Essex,  de  Montford  hurled 
his  adversary  to  the  ground,  and  with  a  quick  and 
sudden  motion,  drove  his  sword  into  the  neck  of 
Essex." 

Lord  Macartney  and  Mr.  Sadlier  had  an  altercation 
at  the  Council  Board  at  Bombay  on  March  16,  1784, 
and  afterwards  fought  with  pistols,  Macartney  receiv- 
ing a  dangerous  wound,  from  which  he  recovered, 
however.  On  the  8th  of  June,  1786,  Macartney  met 
General  Stuart  near  Kensington,  and  fought  with 
pistols  at  twelve  short  paces.  When  they  were  about 
to  fire  Stuart  told  Macartney  that  his  pistol  was  not 
cocked,  at  which  his  lordship  thanked  the  General, 
and  cocked.  Macartney  was  wounded  at  the  first 
fire,  and  the  seconds  at  once  declared  that  the  matter 
must  rest.  But  Stuart  exclaimed  :  "  This  is  no  sat- 


208  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

isfaction;"  and  asked  Macartney  if  he  was  not  able 
to  fire  again.  His  lordship  replied:  "  With  pleasure;" 
and  urged  Colonel  Fullerton  (his  second)  to  permit 
him  to  proceed.  Colonel  Gordon  (Stuart's  second) 
informed  the  General  that  his  antagonist  was 
wounded  and  could  not  proceed  ;  who  replied  : 
"Then  I  must  defer  it  till  another  occasion."  To 
which  Macartney  added:  "If  that  is  the  case  we  had 
better  proceed  again,  now."  But  the  seconds  put  an 
end  to  all  further  conversation  between  the  parties, 
and  his  lordship  was  removed  from  the  field  in  an 
easy  carriage  to  his  home. 

In  1794,  in  England,  Lord  Tankerville  and  Edward 
Bouverie,  Member  of  Parliament,  met  with  pistols, 
and  the  latter  was  killed.  In  1740,  in  England,  Gen- 
eral Braddock  (who  afterward  died  in  America)  and 
Colonel  Gumley,  officers  of  the  British  army,  fought 
with  swords,  and  Braddock  was  disarmed,  but  unin- 
jured, although  he  refused  to  beg  for  his  life.  In 
1699,  in  England,  Colonel  Oliver  le  Neve  and  Sir 
Henry  Buckinghamshire,  Member  of  Parliament,  met 
with  swords,  and  the  latter  was  mortally  wounded. 
In  1809,  in  England,  Lord  Castlereagh  and  George 
Canning  (then  Foreign  Secretary)  met  with  pistols 
on  Putney  Heath,  and  at  the  second  shot  Canning 
received  a  thigh  wound,  after  which  the  seconds  of 
the  two  statesmen  put  a  stop  to  the  combat.  In  1841, 
in  England,  Captain  Harvey  G.  Tuckett  and  James 
Thomas  Cardigan  met  with  pistols  on  Wimbledon 
Common,  and  the  former  was  severely  wounded  at 
the  second  shot. 

On  May  i,  1760,  at  Manchester  (England),  while 
Major  Glover,  of  the  Lincolnshire  militia,  was  pass- 
ing pompously  along,  a  Mr.  Jackson  (an  apothecary) 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  209 

dashed  out  of  his  store  and  tapped  the  militiaman 
playfully  on  his  back.  Subsequently  the  two  met, 
and  Glover  touched  the  frolicsome  compounder  of 
nauseating  preparations  perceptibly  with  a  switch; 
at  which  the  apothecary  flew  into  a  rage,  and  chal- 
lenged the  militiaman  to  meet  him  at  once  in  mortal 
combat.  The  latter  was  greatly  surprised,  apolo- 
gized for  what  might  have  seemed  insulting,  and 
declared  that  what  he  had  done  was  only  meant  as  a 
joke.  But  the  apothecary  would  listen  to  nothing 
short  of  a  hostile  meeting;  so  the  two  at  last  went 
into  a  neighboring  coffee-house,  and  in  a  very  few 
moments  Jackson  received  satisfaction  by  being  run 
through  with  Glover's  sword  ;  and  just  before  he 
died,  the  foolish  apothecary  declared  that  everything 
connected  with  his  death  was  his  own  fault. 

In  1714,  in  England,  Colonel  Chudworth,  of  the 
British  army,  insulted  William  Aldworth,  Member  of 
Parliament,  by  calling  him  a  Jacobite.  The  latter 
challenged  Chudworth,  and  a  meeting  was  arranged 
to  take  place  at  Marylebone  Fields,  at  which  Aid- 
worth  was  killed;  weapons,  swords.  In  August,  1790, 
M.  de  Cazales  and  M.  Barnave,  two  French  lawyers, 
fought  with  pistols  near  Paris,  and  the  former  was 
wounded  in  the  leg.  In  1790  Barnave  fought  a*  duel 
with  Viscount  de  Noailles  with  pistols,  but  neither 
received  serious  injuries.  Oliver  St.  John,  of  the 
house  of  Bolingbroke,  and  Captain  Best,  of  the 
Queen's  Guards,  fought  with  swords  in  1589,  in 
England,  and  Best  was  killed.  In  1760,  in  England, 
James  Stewart  and  the  Duke  of  Bolton  met  at  Mary- 
lebone Fields  with  swords.  Bolton  had  wounded  his 
antagonist,  and  while  making  a  desperate  pass  fell 
and  broke  his  leg,  and  was  unable  to  rise.  "  Get  up 


2IO  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

or  beg  for  your  life!"  cried   Stewart.     "  Never!"  ex- 
claimed the  Duke.     And  thus  the  combat  ended. 

On  June  i,  1790,  Mr.  Macduff  captain's  clerk  of 
the  British  sloop-of-war  Racehorse,  and  midshipman 
Prince,  of  the  same  vessel,  fought  in  England,  and 
the  latter  was  killed  at  the  first  fire.  On  the  3d  of 
July  of  the  same  year  Mr.  John  Alcock  and  Mr.  Sewell 
met  with  pistols  at  Guilford  (England),  and  fired  at 
each  other  once  without  effect.  They  then  fired  a 
second  time,  when  Sewell's  pistol  went  off  accident- 
ally, and  the  bullet  went  through  his  own  foot,  while 
the  ball  from  his  antagonist's  weapon  passed  through 
the  skirt  of  his  coat.  The  seconds  then  arranged  the 
matter  with  satisfaction  to  both  parties.  On  the  6th 
day  of  the  same  month  Lieutenants  Cowper  and  Dyer, 
of  the  Fifty-Sixth  Regiment  of  English  Foot,  met 
near  Dublin,  and  the  latter  was  severely  wounded  at 
the  first  shot.  On  the  2oth  of  the  same  month,  same 
year,  Mr.  Stephens,  a  young  gentleman  of  twenty 
years  of  age  (and  only  surviving  son  of  Philip 
Stephens,  of  the  Admiralty),  and  Mr.  Anderson,  an 
attorney,  met  at  Margate  (England),  and  exchanged 
shots  without  effect.  The  seconds  then  interposed, 
but  Stephens  insisted  on  an  apology  from  his  adver- 
sary. Mr.  Anderson  replied  that  he  could  not  apolo- 
gize for  words  he  had  never  used.  Whereupon 
Stephens  demanded  another  shot,  and  received  his 
antagonist's  bullet  in  the  head  and  fell  dead.  On 
August  3,  1772,  near  Paris,  between  Marquis  de  Fleur 
and  Captain  Cardineaux,  in  which  the  latter  was 
killed  and  the  former  wounded  in  the  arm  ;  weapons, 
pistols.  On  the  i6th  of  May,  1767,  at  Marseilles 
(France),  between  Signor  Romanza  (a  Corsican)  and 
the  Duke  of  Triffonier.  The  latter  had  made 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  211 

derogatory  remarks  about  the  British  nation  and  its 
sovereign,  to  which  Romanza  responded  by  saying 
that  the  British  nation  was  a  nation  of  men,  and  that 
the  King  was  the  best  monarch  in  Europe;  for  which 
declaration  Triffonier  challenged  the  Corsican,  and 
received  a  mortal  wound;  weapons,  pistols.  On  the 
3d  of  August,  1769,  at  Plymouth  (England),  two 
English  officers  (a  captain  and  a  lieutenant  of  ma- 
rines) went  out  with  each  other  to  dine,  during  which 
they  got  into  an  intoxicated  condition,  and  afterward 
quarrelled  and  fougnt  each  other,  the  lieutenant 
being  killed;  weapons,  swords.  In  August,  1769,  in 
Dunmore  Park,  near  Kilkenny  (Ireland),  a  second 
duel  took  place  between  James  Agar  and  Henry 
Flood  (the  former  having  been  wounded  in  the  arm 
in  the  first  affair),  in  which  Agar  was  shot  through 
the  heart.  The  second  quarrel  grew  out  of  a  con- 
troversy over  the  loss  of  a  case  of  duelling  pistols. 
Agar  fired  first,  and  then  took  up  a  second  weapon, 
and  cried  out  to  Flood,  who  was  about  to  discharge 
his  pistol  in  the  air:  "Fire,  you  scoundrel,  fire!" 
And  Flood  did  fire,  and  Agar  never  knew  what 
killed  him. 

In  August,  1779,  Major  Ackland  and  Lieutenant 
Lloyd,  of  the  British  army,  fought  near  London, 
with  pistols,  and  the  former  was  killed.  Lloyd  had 
charged  the  American  people  with  ingratitude  and 
cowardice,  and  Ackland,  in  defending  the  Americans, 
gave  Lloyd  the  lie,  which  resulted  as  aforesaid.  On 
the  nth  of  September,  1765,  two  gentlemen,  who  had 
long  been  intimate  friends,  quarrelled  and  fought 
with  swords  near  Kensington  (England),  and  both 
were  severely  wounded.  One  of  the  combatants,  after 
arriving  upon  the  field,  drew  from  his  pocket  his  will, 


212        -  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

in  which  he  had  bequeathed  to  his  antagonist  ^1000; 
and  which  he  declared  he  would  not  take  back.  The 
duel  was  proceeded  with,  however. 

In  Hyde  Park,  in  1748,  Captains  Innes  and  Clarke, 
officers  in  the  British  navy,  fought  with  pistols,  and 
the  former  was  mortally  wounded.  The  survivor  was 
afterward  tried  and  convicted  of  murder,  but  was 
pardoned  by  the  King.  The  same  year  Mr.  Ball,  an 
attorney,  fought  the  Earl  of  Kilkenny  with  pistols,  in 
Ireland,  and  the  latter  was  wounded  twice.  In  1825, 
Alphonse  de  Lamartine,  the  celebrated  French  poet, 
and  Colonel  Pepe,  an  officer  in  the  Italian  army, 
fought  near  Florence  (Italy),  and  Lamartine  was 
seriously  wounded.  In  1794  Colonel  Roper  and 
Lieutenant  Purefoy,  officers  of  the  same  regiment  in 
the  British  army,  met  near  London  with  pistols,  and 
Roper  was  shot  through  the  heart.  In  1850,  M. 
Valentine  and  M.  Clary,  members  of  the  Chamber  of 
Deputies,  fought  with  swords  near  Brussels,  and  the 
former  was  dangerously  wounded. 

On  the  24th  of  November,  1849,  M.  Pierre  Bona- 
parte fought  M.  Rovigo  (whose  face  he  had  slapped 
publicly)  with  sabres,  in  the  Bois  de  Boulogne,  and 
was  wounded.  A  day  or  two  afterward  he  exchanged 
shots  with  Adrian  de  la  Valette,  a  Parisian  journalist, 
in  the  woods  near  Paris,  without  injury  to  either.  In 
1851  M.  Pierre  Bonaparte  and  the  Count  Nienkerke 
met  with  swords  in  the  Bois  de  Boulogne,  and  the 
latter  was  sevely  wounded  in  the  thigh. 

On  the  24th  of  February,  1832,  in  Paris,  Charles 
Leon,  a  natural  son  of  Napoleon,  dined  with  M.  de 
Rosambert,  and  met,  at  dinner,  Captain  Hesse. 
During  the  evening  play  was  introduced,  and  Leon 
lost  eighteen  thousand  francs;  after  which,  he  quar- 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  21$ 

relied  with  Hesse,  and  the  two  arranged  for  a  duel, 
which  was  fought  in  the  woods  upon  the  following 
morning,  and  Hesse  was  mortally  wounded.  On  the 
i9th  of  March.  1830,  Captain  Smith,  of  the  Thirty- 
second  Foot,  British  army,  and  Standish  Stamer 
O'Grady — accompanied  respectively  by  Captain 
Markham  and  Lieutenant  Macnamara — met  with 
pistols  near  Dublin,  and  O'Grady  was  shot  dead. 
Subsequently  Captains  Smith  and  Markham  were 
arrested  and  tried  for  murder,  and  convicted  of  man- 
slaughter and  sentenced  to  twelve  months'  imprison- 
ment in  Kilmainham  jail.  Smith,  after  listening  to 
the  sentence,  cried  out,  "My  God!  my  God!  I  am 
disgraced  forever!"  and  fell  into  Markham's  arms. 

In  1835  Morgan  O'Connell,  Member  of  Parliament, 
and  Lord  Alvanley  fought  in  Hyde  Park  with  pistols, 
and  fired  at  each  other  three  times  without  effect.  In 
1853  M.  Charles  Moncelet  and  M.  Emile  Angier  met 
near  Paris  and  settled  their  difficulty  by  firing  at 
each  other  once  without  effect.  In  1731  Lord  Hervey 
and  William  Pulteney  fought  with  swords  near  Bath, 
and  the  former  was  slightly  wounded.  In  1822  the 
Duke  of  Bedford  and  the  Duke  of  Buckingham  met 
in  Hyde  Park  with  pistols.  The  Duke  of  Bucking- 
ham fired  without  effect,  and  his  antagonist  dis- 
charged his  pistol  in  the  air.  In  1849  M.  Berard  and 
M.  Brives,  members  of  the  Chamber  of  Deputies,  met 
near  Paris  with  pistols,  and  satisfied  honor  after  one 
shot  from  Brives;  Berard's  weapon  missing  fire.  In 
1833,  in  England,  Sir  John  Jeffcott  and  Captain  Hen- 
nis  fought  with  pistols,  and  the  latter  was  mortally 
wounded.  In  1835,  after  a  quarrel  in  the  Cortez, 
Sefior  Mendizabal,  Prime  Minister  of  Spain,  and 


214  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Sefior  Isturitz,  fought  with  pistols  near  Madrid,  and 
exchanged  shots  without  effect. 

On  the  7th  of  December,  1883,  Signers  Levito  and 
Nicotera  met  with  sabres  near  the  iron  bridge  which 
spans  the  Tiber,  at  Rome;  and,  after  a  desperate  en- 
counter, the  former  was  dangerously  wounded  in  the 
heart.  The  seconds  then  endeavored  to  terminate 
the  affair,  when  Levito  suddenly  rushed  forward, 
snatched  Nicotera's  sabre  away  and  slashed  the  un- 
armed man  a  deadly  blow  over  his  head  and  neck, 
from  which  he  died  in  a  short  time  afterward.  The 
New  York  Times,  in  noticing  this  affair,  said: 

The  killing  of  Baron  Nicotera,  although  it  took  place  in 
a  duel,  was  a  murder,  or  rather  a  bloody  butchery,  for  his 
antagonist  killed  him  in  a  way  which  involved  a  total  disre- 
gard of  the  "code,"  and  which  will  probably  result  in  the 
homicide's  trial  and  condemnation  by  a  criminal  court. 
The  death  of  Nicotera  is  an  event  of  no  little  political  im- 
portance. He  led  a  small  party  in  Parliament  which  was 
absolutely  devoted  to  his  interests,  and  his  hold  on  his 
Calabrian  constituents,  being  purely  personal,  could  not  be 
shaken,  whatever  political  somersaults  he  might  have  made. 
Nominally  a  leader  of  the  Left,  he  fought  for  his  own  ad- 
vantage, and  his  readiness  either  to  ally  himself  with  any 
party  that  would  purchase  his  services  or  to  attack  any 
Ministry  or  measure,  made  him  a  factor  in  politics  that  no 
party  or  statesman  could  entirely  ignore.  There  is  no 
principle  nor  programme  that  loses  by  his  death,  but  the 
complete  extinction  of  the  Nicotera  group  which  it  necessa- 
rily involves  will  simplify  the  problem  of  parliamentary 
government.  Nicotera  was  a  picturesque  figure  in  the 
rapidly  diminishing  ranks  of  the  Italian  revolutionary  pa- 
triots. He  belonged  to  the  era — now  happily  closed — of 
Italian  conspirators.  During  the  greater  part  of  his  turbu- 
lent life  he  was  always  conspiring  or  fighting  against  tyr- 
j  and  he  began  this  course  so  young  that  by  the  time  he 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS. 

was  twenty  he  was  an  exile  from  Naples  and  had  been 
wounded  by  a  French  bullet  while  fighting  for  the  Roman 
Republic  of  '48.  Twenty  years  more  were  passed  by  him  in 
the  underground  work  of  the  Italian  secret  societies,  and  at 
the  end  of  that  time  he  was  captured  and  condemned,  first 
to  death  and  afterward  to  the  galleys  for  life,  for  having 
made  one  of  an  armed  band  sent  out  by  Mazzini  to  face 
almost  certain  death  by  landing  in  Southern  Italy  and  at- 
tempting to  incite  an  insurrection  against  the  king.  Liber- 
ated by  the  Sicilian  revolt,  Nicotera  was  sent  by  Bertani  to 
head  an  expedition  against  Rome.  The  expedition  was  os- 
tensibly a  Garibaldian  movement,  but  was  undertaken  with- 
out the  knowledge  of  Garibaldi,  and  was  afterward  de- 
nounced by  him  as  a  specimen  of  the  folly  of  republican 
doctrinaires.  It  was  broken  up  by  the  Sardinian  Govern- 
ment, and  Nicotera  thereupon  joined  Garibaldi  in  South 
Italy.  At  Aspromonte  he  was  with  the  simple-minded 
hero  whom  Rattazzi  had  lured  into  loyal  rebellion ;  for  there 
is  now  no  question  that  Garibaldi  was  made  to  believe 
that  in  engaging  in  the  Aspromonte  campaign  he  was  really 
obeying  the  wishes  of  Victor  Emmanuel.  Such  a  man — 
able,  fearless,  trained  to  conflict  with  authority — was  not 
the  man  to  suddenly  develop  into  a  statesman.  Nicotera 
was  a*  guerrilla  in  politics  as  he  had  been  in  war,  and  he 
never  learned  that  there  could  be  virtue  in  obedience  to 
law.  As  Minister  of  the  Interior  his  manipulation  of  elec- 
tions was  more  reckless  and  shameless  than  anything  of  the 
kind  ever  perpetrated  by  an  imperialist  Prefect  in  the  early 
days  of  the  last  French  Empire,  and  it  stained  his  reputa- 
tion ineffaceably.  Had  he  lived,  he  could  have  had  no 
reasonable  prospect  of  ever  again  entering  an  Italian  Cab- 
inet. His  political  career  after  his  withdrawal  from  office 
was  that  of  a  clever,  unscrupulous  trickster,  and  with  the 
growth  of  true  parliamentary  government  his  influence  as 
the  leader  of  a  group  would  have  steadily  diminished. 
There  was  one  touch  of  chivalry  in  the  veteran  conspirator. 
The  magic  of  the  beautiful  Italian  queen  made  him,  repub- 
lican as  he  was,  thoroughly  loyal  to  the  throne  ;  and  that 


2l6  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

the  queen  could  have  exerted  this  influence  over  such  a 
man  without  the  loss  of  dignity  or  the  slightest  breath  of 
suspicion  is  not  the  least  of  her  claims  to  the  respect  and 
love  of  her  people.  The  conspirators  with  whom  Nicotera 
belonged,  and  of  a  certain  class  of  whom  he  was  a  type,  will 
soon  have  passed  out  of  the  political  life  of  Italy.  In  their 
day  they  did  good  service,  and  those  whose  freedom  was  in 
large  measure  won  by  the  bravery  and  sufferings  of  these 
men  can  well  afford  to  pardon  the  offences  that  die  with 
them.  With  all  his  faults  Nicotera  never  hesitated  to 
brave  the  gallows  and  to  face  the  bullets  of  the  enemies  of 
Italian  freedom.  He  was  useless  and  out  of  place  as  a  law- 
maker ;  but  before  the  Italian  Parliament  was  born  he  had 
worthily  filled  a  place  among  the  soldiers  of  freedom.  Italy 
will  be  less  heroic  when  the  men  of  Mazzinian  conspiracies 
and  red-shirt  campaigns  are  gone;  but  the  cause  of  good 
government  loses  nothing  by  the  death  of  the  bold,  restless, 
and  reckless  Calabrian  Baron. 

A  special  cablegram  to  the  New  York  Herald  from 
Paris,  dated  the  loth  of  January,  1884,  presented  the 
following  spirited  description  of  the  duel  between 
two  famous  Parisians,  as  follows: 

The  duel  between  M.  Aurelien  Scholl,  the  witty  chroni- 
queur  of  the  Evtnement,  and  Count  Albert  de  Dion,  a  prom- 
inent ornament  of  the  gayest  coterie  of  Parisian  society, 
took  place  at  noon  yesterday.  To-day  it  exclusively  absorbs 
the  attention  of  Paris.  The  cause  of  the  duel  originated 
four  years  ago,  and  is  too  complicated  to  be  unravelled  in  a 
telegraphic  summary.  Readers  of  the  Herald  will  doubtless 
recall  the  scene  at  the  famous  restaurant  Bignon  in  1880, 
when  the  Count  de  Dion  threw  a  bottle  of  champagne  at 
M.  Scholl's  head  and  otherwise  roughly  handled  him.  The 
Count  de  Dion  was  for  this  assault  locked  up  in  jail  for  two 
months.  When  the  Count  de  Dion  came  out  M.  Scholl's 
two  seconds  waited  upon  him.  The  Count  de  Dion  was 
most  eager  to  fight,  but  in  Belgium,  not  in  France,  as  the 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS. 

cumulative  punishment  for  a  duel  on  top  of  an  assault  and 
battery  would  be  too  serious  a  matter.  M.  Scholl,  on  the 
other  hand,  refused  to  go  to  Belgium.  Hence  the  status 
quo  was  maintained  until  last  week,  when  the  Count  de 
Dion  fought  a  duel  with  M.  de  Bryas.  This  duel  fanned 
into  activity  the  latent  fire  of  M.  Scholl  concerning  the  im- 
broglio with  the  Count  de  Dion,  and  on  Tuesday  M.  Scholl 
published  in  the  Evenement  a  sarcastic  appreciation,  of  the 
Count  de  Dion,  headed  "  A  Surprise."  The  Count  de  Dion 
never  reads  the  Evtnement,  but  the  next  day  (yesterday) 
his  friend  M.  Sohege  showed  him  M.  Scholl's  provoking 
sarcasm.  The  Count  de  Dion  did  not  allow  the  grass  to 
grow  under  his  feet,  and  ten  minutes  after  reading  the 
article  he  sent  the  General  Prince  de  Bauffremont  and 
Commandant  Franchet  d'Esperet  as  seconds  to  demand 
reparation  of  M.  Scholl,  who  referred  those  gentlemen  to 
his  own  seconds,  MM.  Robert  Mitchell  and  Adolphe  Taver- 
nier.  The  following  is  the  narrative  of  the  details  of  the 
duel  as  related  to  your  correspondent  by  one  of  the  four 
seconds  who  officiated  on  the  occasion :  The  duel  took 
place  at  noon  near  the  grand  stand  of  the  race-course  of 
Longchamps.  We  wanted  it  to  take  place  in  the  pesage, 
but  when  we  arrived  with  our  principals  the  keepers  said 
that  the  proprietors  of  the  race-course  would  not  allow  any 
duelling  to  take  place  on  their  property.  So  we  were 
obliged  to  go  further.  We  halted  finally  in  one  of  the 
retired  and  picturesque  promenades  of  the  Bois.  M.  Taver- 
nier  tossed  up  a  louis  for  the  choice  of  position.  Prince 
Bauffremont  cried  "  Head  !"  and  won.  M.  Tavern ier  then 
tossed  up  again  a  louis  for  the  choice  of  weapons.  Prince 
Bauffremont  cried  "  Head !"  and  again  won.  The  Count 
de  Dion  then  selected  his  position  and  chose  his  own 
weapons,  a  magnificent  pair  of  swords  with  costly  steel 
guards  ornamented  with  his  initials  and  the  coronet  of  the 
count  embossed  in  solid  gold.  M.  Tavernier,  to  whom  we 
delegated  the  direction  of  the  combat,  put  the  adversaries 
in  position  and  engaged  their  swords.  At  the  command, 
"  Allez,  Messieurs  /"  the  two  combatants  took  ground  en 


218  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

rampant.  Then  M.  Scholl  attacked  furiously  with  right 
points  and  thrusts.  The  Count  de  Dion  all  the  while  smiled 
most  ironically  and  parried  M.  Scholl's  attacks  with  highly 
finished  but  rather  fantastic  play,  frequently  tantalizing  his 
adversary  by  raising  his  sword  quite  out  of  position  of  guard, 
for  an  instant  completely  exposing  himself.  M.  Scholl 
made  play  at  the  chest,  the  Count  de  Dion  at  the  stomach. 
At  the  expiration  of  four  minutes  M.  Tavernier,  believing 
that  the  Count  de  Dion  was  wounded  in  the  wrist,  stopped 
the  combat,  but  it  was  merely  the  Count  de  Dion's  shirt 
sleeve  which  had  been  torn.  At  the  second  engagement 
the  adversaries  ceased  to  rompre  and  the  play  was  more 
earnest.  M.  Scholl  continued  to  attack  vigorously  and 
nearly  succeeded  in  wounding  the  Count  de  Dion,  but  the 
latter  very  adroitly  sprang  back,  missing  the  point  by  a 
hair's  breadth.  The  combat  continued  in  the  most  spirited 
manner  imaginable.  M.  Scholl  kept  advancing  and  making 
play  at  the  Count  de  Dion's  chest,  followed  by  a  well-exe- 
cuted degagement  dans  la  tigne  basse.  The  Count  de  Dion 
always  responded  by  the  riposte  en  seconde  after  each  pas- 
sage. Finally,  by  a  beautiful  riposte  du  tac  au  tac  the 
Count  de  Dion  wounded  M.  Scholl  in  the  side,  his  sword 
entering  between  the  eighth  and  ninth  ribs.  The  sword 
bending,  broke  at  twenty  centimetres  from  its  point,  the 
broken  piece  remaining  in  the  wound.  M.  Scholl  stepped 
back,  saying  "  Je  laisse."  We  seconds  all  approached,  anx- 
ious to  see  if  the  wound  was  dangerous.  M.  Scholl  smiled, 
and  said,  "  I  have  had  worse  wounds  than  this,"  referring  to 
a  severe  wound  in  the  chest  received  from  M.  Paul  de  Cas- 
sagnac.  "That's  what  comes  of  being  so  near-sighted," 
continued  M.  Scholl.  Your  correspondent  here  asked — 
"  What  was  the  real  feeling  of  the  adversaries  before  and 
after  the  combat?"  The  second  answered — "They  both 
did  their  best  to  kill  each  other."  "  Was  there  a  reconcilia- 
tion ?"  "  No ;  but  before  the  combat  we  seconds  insisted 
that  our  respective  principals  should  formally  agree  that 
this  duel  would  finally  settle  the  quarrel."  "  Is  M.  Scholl's 
wound  serious  ?"  "  No ;  he  went  at  five  o'clock  to  Tortoni's 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS,  2ig 

as    usual,  and  then   went  to    his    editorial    chair    in    the 
Evtnement" 

Rossi  was  playing  Hamlet  one  night  at  Casala, 
when  a  party  of  young  Italians  of  both  sexes,  who 
had  dined  too  copiously,  spoke  so  loud  that  the  actor 
was  obliged  to  stop.  "I'll  keep  quiet  until  you  do," 
said  the  tragedian,  quietly  folding  his  arms.  The 
public  applauded  and  demanded  the  expulsion  of  the 
disturbers,  but  after  the  performance  Signor  Rossi 
found  a  card  left  with  the  stage  doorkeeper.  The 
owner  of  it  insisted  upon  satisfaction  for  the  insult. 
Signor  Rossi  pulled  a  long  face.  He  did  not  mind  a 
duel,  but  he  was  expected  next  night  at  Milan  and 
was  bound  to  start  at  eight  o'clock  in  the  morning. 
He  went  straight  to  the  residence  of  the  challenger, 
whom  he  found  engaged  in  trying  his  skill  with  a 
pair  of  pistols  on  an  iron  plate  fixed  against  the  wall. 
He  explained  the  situation  to  him.  "  The  rumor  of 
a  duel  between  us  has  already  gone  abroad;  the  gen- 
darmerie are  sure  to  prevent  us  in  the  morning.  I 
have  a  very  spacious  apartment  at  the  hotel.  Will 
you  come  and  settle  our  quarrel  there  ?  We  are  not 
likely  to  be  disturbed,  especially  if  we  can  manage  to 
slip  in  unnoticed."  So  said,  so  done.  They  repaired 
to  Signor  Rossi's  hotel;  the  conditions  had  been  ar- 
ranged; and  they  were  just  about  to  begin  when  there 
was  a  knock  at  the  door.  It  was  the  host,  who,  see- 
ing a  light  so  late,  feared  that  his  visitor  was  ill,  and 
would  not  accept  his  assurance  to  the  contrary  for  an 
answer.  "  There  is  but  one  way  out  of  the  difficulty 
— we  must  blow  out  the  candles  and  take  aim  by  the 
glow  of  our  cigarettes  we  are  going  to  light."  The 
condition  was  accepted  ;  Signor  Rossi  hit  his  adver- 
sary in  the  shoulder,  but  the  discharge  awakened  the 


220  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

whole  house.  The  tragedian  had  got  from  the  fry- 
ing-pan into  the  fire,  for  he  was  conducted  to  the 
juge  de paix.  In  vain  did  he  consult  his  watch  ;  the 
hands  pointed  to  seven.  To  make  matters  worse,  the 
magistrate  received  him  with  a  crushing  speech. 
"You  deserve  five  years'  imprisonment,"  he  began. 
"But  now  that  the  man  of  the  law  has  spoken,"  he 
continued,  suddenly  changing  his  tone,  "  the  playgoer 
must  add  a  last  word.  I  was  at  the  theatre  last 
night ;  you  acted  like  a  god  and  you  did  very  well  to 
chastise  this  good-for-nothing.  I  know  that  you  are 
expected  in  Milan,  and  take  this  ring  as  a  remem- 
brance of  how  I  look  upon  your  conduct." 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  221 


CHAPTER  XII. 

EUROPEAN  DUELS— CONTINUED. 

A  Fight  to  the  Death— The  Fatal  Duel  between  O'Connell  and 
D'Esterre — A  Combat  with  Cavalry  Sabres — Harry  Bellasses 
and  Tom  Porter— An  Old-Time  Duel— All  about  the  Countess 
of  Yarmouth — Aston  and  Fitzgerald — A  Number  of  Fatal  Duels 
— Fighting  Musicians — A  Fatal  Encounter  with  Scissors — Killed 
and  Left  in  the  Street — Midshipmen  Armstrong  and  Long — 
General  Pepe  and  Caraocosa — Duels  from  Trivial  Causes — A 
Disrespectful  Frenchman  Neatly  Dispatched — The  Desperate 
Encounter  between  Valois  and  Bezarier — A  Spectacular  Combat 
and  its  Tragic  Result — Two  Desperate  Affairs— Extraordinary 
and  Fatal  Duel — Atrocities  of  the  Field. 

DURING  an  animated  discussion  between  Lieu- 
tenants Zigang  and  Suprin,  of  the  One  Hundred  and 
Thirteenth  (French)  Infantry,  concerning  military 
matters,  early  in  September,  1881,  at  Paris,  the  former 
gave  his  brother  officer  the  lie,  and  was  dealt  a  violent 
blow  in  the  face  in  return.  A  duel  was  the  conse- 
quence; and  the  parties  met,  with  pistols,  on  the 
twelfth  of  the  month,  at  Saules,  between  the  rivers 
Sanitas  and  Loire.  The  combatants  confronted  each 
other  at  thirty  paces,  and  at  the  signal  both  fired  and 
both  fell — Zigang  hit  in  the  hip  and  his  antagonist  in 
the  breast.  They  were  then  conveyed  to  the  hospital, 
where  Suprin  died  in  a  few  days. 

When  Henry  III.  was  king  of  France  there  were 
among  his  courtiers  two  gentlemen  who  were  noted 


222  THE  FIELD    OF  HONOR. 

as  masters  of  the  sword — Caylus  and  D'Entraquet. 
During  a  night's  dissipation,  in  which  his  majesty  was 
a  jolly  participant,  Caylus  and  D'Entraquet  quarrelled 
over  cards,  and  the  latter  accused  the  former  of  cheat- 
ing, and  threw  his  glove  in  Caylus'  face.  Caylus 
sprang  upon  D'Entraquet  like  a  tiger  and  seized  him 
by  the  throat,  but  in  an  instant  the  two  courtiers  were 
separated  by  friends.  "I'll  have  your  life  for  this!" 
cried  Caylus,  in  great  rage.  "Well  said,  sir — to 
Fourelles,  then,  at  once,"  responded  D'Entraquet. 
Arrangements  were  quickly  made  for  a  meeting  at 
Fourelles  early  upon  the  following  day,  with  two  sec- 
onds on  each  side.  Morning  came  (writes  a  contributor 
to  an  English  magazine),  and  no  sooner  had  the  seconds 
arranged  all  the  preliminaries  than  the  principals 
confronted  each  other  and  their  shining  blades  glided 
into  collision.  For  some  moments  neither  gained  any 
advantage.  Then  every  movement  was  cautious,  for 
each  wished  to  learn  the  skill  and  power  of  his  oppo- 
nent. Caylus  was  the  first  to  break  ground.  He 
made  a  rapid  parry,  and  lunged  like  lightning  at  his 
opponent.  A  thrust  so  quick  and  true  that  only  by 
a  desperate  backward  spring  did  the  latter  escape. 
Again  the  swords  crossed,  and  steel  played  along 
steel  till  Caylus,  seeing  an  opportunity,  made  a  leap 
and  thrust,  and  his  sword  was  beaten  down  when 
only  within  an  inch  of  his  enemy's  heart.  It  was 
clearly  evident  now  that  Caylus  was  by  far  the  most 
expert  swordsman  of  the  two,  and  nothing  but 
D'Entraquet's  strength  of  wrist  had  saved  him  from 
receiving  a  deadly  wound.  That  strength  stood  him 
in  good  stead,  and  he  was  determined  to  exert  it  to 
the  utmost.  D'Entraquet  now  pressed  his  antagonist 
heavily  and  closely,  thrust  following  thrust  in  rapid 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  22$ 

succession.  Soon  the  strength  of  Caylus  began  to 
fail  him,  and  his  defence  grew  weaker  as  D'Entraquet, 
seeming  to  gather  strength,  pressed  him  hotly.  The 
seconds  resolved  to  interpose.  "  Enough,"  they  cried. 
"  Honor  is  satisfied,  what  more  would  you  have  ?" 
D'Entraquet  seemed  inclined  to  listen  to  this  sugges- 
tion; not  so  Caylus.  He  smiled,  and  waved  the  sec- 
onds back  with  a  gesture  of  contempt.  "  Our  quar- 
rel cannot  be  so  easily  appeased.  Fall  back !  we 
fight  to  the  death!"  he  cried.  "Be  it  so,"  said 
D'Entraquet;  "your  blood  be  on  your  own  head,  not 
mine."  And  bearing  down  the  point  of  his  antago- 
nist's sword  with  a  straight  thrust,  delivered  with  all 
his  strength,  he  drove  the  cold  steel  through  the  breast 
of  his  enemy  with  such  force  that  the  point  came  out 
at  his  back.  That  thrust  was  a  fatal  one.  Caylus 
stood  for  one  brief  second,  and  then  dropped  dead. 

There  are  Irish  writers  who  have  stated  that  the 
Count  d'Esterre  was  imported  for  the  sole  purpose  of 
killing  the  famous  Daniel  O'Connell.  Be  this  as  it 
may,  it  was  not  long  after  d'Esterre  became  a  member 
of  the  corporation  of  Dublin  that  the  illustrious  Irish- 
man referred  to  that  body  as  "  a  beggarly  corpora- 
tion." This  was  the  Count's  opportunity;  and  he 
quickly  embraced  it  by  sending  O'Connell  a  challenge. 
This  was  duly  accepted,  although  O'Connell  declared 
that  the  meeting  was  party  subterfuge  to  cut  him  off. 
The  Count  was  known  to  be  a  dead  shot,  while  no  one 
would  have  wagered  a  shilling  on  O'Connell,  who  had 
never  fought  a  duel,  and  who  was  at  best  an  in- 
different marksman.  After  taking  their  stand,  arid 
getting  the  signal,  the  parties  fired  so  nearly  together 
that  it  seemed  like  one  report,  and  d'Esterre  fell  mor- 
tally wounded,  while  O'Connell  escaped  unhurt.  This 


224  THE  PI  ELD   OF  HONOR. 

took  place  at  Bishop's  Court,  in  1815.  In  1829,  while 
Sir  Robert  Peel  was  Secretary  for  Ireland,  O'Connell 
called  the  distinguished  statesman  the  "  son  of  a  cot- 
ton-jenny," which  resulted  in  an  agreement  fora  meet- 
ing, which  was  prevented  by  the  proper  authorities. 
Subsequently  the  parties  made  preparations  to  depart 
for  France,  but  the  "  Irish  Liberator"  was  arrested 
while  on  his  way  from  Dublin  and  held  on  bail  not  to 
fight. 

In  1852,  in  Paris,  M.  Laury  and  M.  Vieyra  quar- 
relled in  a  billiard  saloon,  and  agreed  to  settle  their 
grievance  at  sunrise  the  following  morning  at  a  stated 
place  in  the  woods  near  the  city,  the  weapons  to  be: 
first,  pistols,  at  twelve  paces;  and  then,  second  (if 
neither  was  hit),  to  advance  with  cavalry  sabres. 
After  arriving  upon  the  ground,  it  was  arranged  that 
the  combatants  should  proceed  at  once  with  their 
sabres,  as  the  reports  of  firearms  might  bring  the 
authorities  (who  were  on  the  track  of  the  parties) 
quickly  to  the  scene  of  action.  The  duel  lasted  twenty 
minutes,  when  Vieyra  was  severely  wounded  in  the 
breast. 

A  singular  duel  was  that  in  London,  in  1677,  between 
Sir  Henry  Bellasses  and  Thomas  Porter.  Like  Camel- 
ford  and  Best,  Harry  Bellasses  and  Tom  Porter  were 
genial  fellows,  and  fond  of  the  good  things  of  the 
world.  They  met,  with  some  other  fellows,  one  even- 
ing, and  dined  at  Jack  Castle's,  in  Spring  Garden. 
Slight  intoxication  soon  followed,  and  Bellasses  and 
Porter  had  words,  during  which  the  former  gave  the 
latter  a  light  slap  upon  the  face.  At  this,  one  of  the 
company,  who  were  all  by  this  time  nearly  intoxicated, 
sprang  up  at  once,  crying:  "Tom,  I  wouldn't  stand  a 
blow."  "Nor  will  I!"  cried  Tom  Porter,  staggering 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  22$ 

to  his  feet.  "  Sir  Harry,  a  word  with  you.  Bellasses 
looked  at  him  aghast.  "What,  Tom  !"  said  he,  "  are 
you  going  to  quarrel  ?"  "No.  Quarrel!"  he  cried, 
"  I  am  not  going  to  quarrel.  I  have  quarrelled — 
follow  me."  "I  will  not  fight  you!"  Sir  Henry  re- 
plied; and  making  for  the  door  he  rushed  into  the 
street.  A  coach  was  passing,  into  which  he  leaped, 
and,  just  as  Tom  Porter  came  rushing  out  urged  on 
by  the  words  of  his  friends,  he  cried:  "  Up  the  Strand, 
and  then  to  Covent  Garden."  "  Ha,  ha  !"  cried  Tom 
Porter,  now  maddened  by  drink  and  excitement. 
"  Did  you  hear  ?  He  is  going  round  by  Covent  Gar- 
den. We  can  cut  across  and  meet  him."  In  the  still 
small  hours  of  the  morning,  just  before  the  market 
became  alive  with  people,  Tom  Porter  met  the  coach, 
and,  calling  out,  "  Coward,"  and  stopping  it  faced  Sir 
Henry  and  challenged  him  to  fight  a  duel.  "  You  are 
mad,  Tom  !"  he  cried,  drawing  his  sword  as  Porter 
flung  his  coat  and  vest  to  the  ground;  "but  as  you 
will  it,  be  it  so."  The  duel,  founded  on  nothing,  and 
urged  on  by  foolish  men,  was  not  many  minutes  in 
duration,  and  presently  Tom  Porter's  sword  ran  into 
the  breast  of  his  bosom  friend,  who  fell,  bathed  in 
blood,  to  the  ground.  In  an  instant,  when  he  beheld 
the  form  of  his  comrade  fall  death-struck  to  the  earth, 
Porter  saw  his  crime,  and  fell  on  his  knees  weeping  at 
the  side  of  his  friend.  "  Forgive  me — I  was  mad, 
Harry,"  he  cried,  in  broken  accents.  "Away,  Tom; 
save  yourself,"  cried  Bellasses.  "I  forgive  you. 
Fools  have  wrought  this  between  us."  And  dragged 
away  by  his  friends  Tom  Porter  was  placed  in  a 
coach,  forced  down  to  Dover  and  away  to  France. 

During  the  reign  of  Henry  the  Second,  of  France, 
Jthere  was  a  famous  duel  between  Baron  des  Guerres 


226  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

and  Seigneur  Fondelles,  in  which  the  former  was  de- 
feated and  badly  wounded.  They  fought  with  swords, 
and  both  received  many  desperate  cuts.  There  were 
many  thousands  of  people  present,  and  during  the 
progress  of  the  combat  a  scaffold  fell  containing  spec- 
tators, and  a  number  of  ladies  were  seriously  injured. 

In  1750,  two  German  noblemen,  named  Swiegel  and 
Freychappel,  who  were  visiting  England,  fell  desper- 
ately in  love  with  the  beautiful  Countess  of  Yarmouth 
(then  a  mistress  of  George  II.),  and,  becoming  greatly 
enraged  with  each  other,  in  consequence,  repaired  to 
Hyde  Park  one  morning  with  swords  for  the  purpose 
of  settling  their  differences  in  the  premises  of  love. 
The  combat  lasted  nearly  an  hour,  during  the  prog- 
ress of  which  both  were  many  times  wounded. 
Freychappel,  at  last,  while  rushing  furiously  upon  his 
antagonist,  slipped  and  fell,  and  was  instantly  run 
through  and  killed. 

On  the  29th  of  June,  1790,  Captain  Harvey  Aston 
and  Lieutenant  Fitzgerald,  of  the  Sixtieth  Regiment 
of  (English)  Foot,  who  had  quarrelled  a  long  time 
before  at  Ranelagh,  met  in  a  field  at  Chalk-lodge  farm, 
near  Hampstead,  at  the  break  of  day,  with  pistols; 
Aston  being  seconded  by  Lord  Fitzroy,  and  Fitzgerald 
by  Mr.  Wood.  They  fought  at  ten  paces;  and  Fitz- 
gerald, having  the  first  fire,  rested  his  pistol  on  his 
left  arm,  and  took  an  aim  which  sent  a  bullet  through 
his  antagonist's  neck.  On  receiving  the  wound, 
Aston  called  to  his  antagonist,  without  firing:  "  Are 
you  satisfied?"  The  answer  returned  was:  "lam 
satisfied."  Mr.  Aston  was  then  assisted  to  his  car- 
riage suffering  greatly  from  his  wound,  which  was  a 
very  severe  one.  On  the  28th  of  June,  1796,  Lord 
Valentia  and  Henry  Gawler  met  in  a  field  three  miles 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  22 ? 

from  Hamburgh,  and  Valentia  was  wounded  in  the 
breast  at  the  first  fire,  while  his  lordship's  bullet 
passed  through  the  hat  of  his  antagonist.  On  the 
loth  of  August,  1796,  two  Americans  named  William 
Carpenter  and  John  Pride  fought  in  Hyde  Park, 
London,  and  the  former  was  shot  through  the  body 
and  died  the  next  day.  The  coroner's  jury  rendered 
a  verdict  of  wilful  murder,  but  Pride  was  acquitted 
upon  trial. 

On  January  12,  1818,  near  Chalk-farm,  Mr.  O'Cal- 
laghan  and  Lieutenant  Bayley,  of  the  Fifty-eighth 
British  Foot;  they  fought  with  pistols,  and  Bayley 
was  mortally  wounded.  O'Callaghan  and  the  two 
seconds  were  charged  with  murder  by  a  coroner's 
jury,  and  at  their  trial  were  convicted  of  man- 
slaughter. In  the  duel  between  Redmond  Byrne  and 
Thomas  O'Connor,  near  Cork  (Ireland),  in  July,  1820, 
a  spectator  at  a  distance  of  a  quarter  of  a  mile  re- 
ceived one  of  the  shots  in  the  arm,  while  neither  of 
the  principals  was  hurt.  On  December  13,  1817,  in 
Northwood  Park,  Isle  of  Wight,  John  Sutton  and 
Major  Lockyer;  the  former  was  killed  at  the  first  fire. 
The  coroner's  jury  returned  a  verdict  of  wilful 
murder  against  Lockyer  and  the  two  seconds,  all  of 
whom  fled  the  country.  On  July  19,  1813,  near  Park- 
hurst  Barracks  (England),  Edward  McGuire  and 
Lieutenant  Blundell;  they  fought  with  pistols,  and 
Blundell  was  killed.  McGuire  and  the  seconds  were 
convicted  of  murder  and  sentenced  to  death,  but  the 
sentence  was  commuted  to  imprisonment.  In  1728, 
in  England,  Captain  Peppard,  of  the  British  army, 
and  Mr.  Hayes,  an  attorney,  met  at  Hyde  Park,  with 
swords,  and  Hayes  was  killed.  In  1748,  in  Hyde 
Park,  Messrs.  Morgan  and  Hamilton,  with  swords; 


228  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 

the  latter  killed.  On  November  13,  1779,  in  England, 
Mr.  Donovan  and  Captain  Hanson;  the  latter  killed. 
In  Paris,  in  1862,  the  Due  de  Grammont  Caderousse 
and  Mr.  Dillon,  a  journalist;  the  latter  killed.  In 
1788,  in  England,  Mr.  McKeon  and  George  Nugent 
Reynolds,  in  which  the  latter  was  killed  and  the 
former  convicted  of  murder.  In  England,  in  1802, 
Right  Honorable  George  Ogle  and  Bernard  Coyle; 
the  latter  slightly  wounded  at  the  eighth  shot.  In 
1861,  in  Berlin,  General  de  Manteuffel  and  M.  Twes- 
ten,  with  pistols,  at  eleven  paces.  At  the  first  shot 
the  General  was  grazed  in  the  head,  and  at  the 
second  his  antagonist  was  wounded  in  the  wrist. 
These  gentlemen  held  prominent  positions  under  the 
King,  who  was  highly  indignant  over  their  offence. 

In  1711,  in  England,  Mr.  Thornhill  and  Sir  Chol- 
meley  Dering;  they  fought  with  pistols,  and  the 
Baronet  was  killed  at  the  first  fire.  In  France,  in 
1851,  M.  Chavoix  and  M.  Dupont;  they  fought  with 
swords,  and  the  latter  was  slain.  In  1752,  in  Eng- 
land, Lord  Lempster  and  Captain  Grey,  of  the 
British  army,  with  swords;  Lempster  was  run 
through  the  body  and  died  while  being  taken  to  his 
carriage.  In  1851,  in  England,  Viscount  Maiden  and 
Captain  Hawkins,  with  pistols;  the  officer  fired  and 
missed,  and  his  lordship  discharged  his  weapon  in 
the  air.  In  1854,  in  France,  M.  Alphonse  and  M. 
Isidore,  with  swords;  Isidore  was  severely  wounded. 
In  1495,  the  Emperor  Maximilian,  of  Germany,  and 
Claude  de  Batre,  with  swords;  the  latter  was  de- 
feated. In  1789,  at  Wimbledon,  the  Duke  of  York 
(afterward  George  the  Fourth)  and  Colonel  Lenox 
(afterward  the  Duke  of  Richmond),  with  pistols.  The 
latter  fired  first  arid  disarranged  a  lock  of  his  noble 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS. 

antagonist's  hair,  and  the  Duke  of  York  discharged 
his  pistol  in  the  air.  Theophilus  Swift,  an  Irish  at- 
torney, upon  learning  of  the  meeting,  although  unac- 
quainted with  Colonel  Lenox,  declared  that  the  latter 
ought  to  be  challenged  and  made  to  fight  until  some 
one  killed  him  for  having  dared  to  fire  upon  a  son  of 
the  King;  and  he  issued  a  cartel  of  defiance  accord- 
ingly. Lenox  accepted  the  challenge,  the  parties 
met,  and  Swift  was  shot  through  the  body  at  the  first 
fire.  In  1647,  in  Scotland,  Donald  McCallum  and 
Colkitto  Alister,  with  swords;  McCallum  was  desper- 
ately wounded  and  died  the  following  day.  In  1714, 
in  Ireland,  Cornet  Castine  and  Dudley  Moore,  with 
swords;  Moore  was  killed.  In  1764,  in  England,  the 
Duke  of  Pecquigny  and  M.  Virette,  with  swords;  the 
former  was  badly  wounded.  In  1503,  in  Spain,  the 
Chevalier  Bayard  and  Alonzo  de  Sotomayor.  Bayard 
issued  the  challenge,  and  the  parties  met  with  swords 
and  daggers,  and  after  a  desperate  struggle  the 
Spaniard  was  killed. 

Ole  Bull,  one  of  the  greatest  violinists  that  ever 
lived,  fought  and  killed  a  fellow  musician  in  Paris  in 
I^37-  Jullien,  the  eminent  musical  director,  just  be- 
fore sailing  for  America,  in  1853,  fought  a  duel  near 
Paris,  and  was  run  through  the  body  and  taken  off 
the  field  for  dead.  In  1851,  at  Versailles,  Prince 
Charles  Bonaparte  and  Count  Rossi,  with  pistols; 
neither  hit.  In  1660,  in  England,  Sir  William  Gray 
and  the  Earl  of  Southesk,  with  swords;  the  former 
killed.  James  Bruce,  the  distinguished  traveller, 
fought  a  duel  with  a  gentleman  at  Brussels,  and 
wounded  his  adversary  several  times,  in  1757; 
weapons,  swords.  The  first  Sir  Colin  Campbell  was 
killed  by  the  Lord  of  Lorn,  in  Scotland,  in  1291.  Sir 


230  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

James  Johnston  and  Lord  Maxwell,  in  Scotland,  in 
1613;  the  former  slain.  In  Ireland,  in  1808,  Mr.  Al- 
cock  and  Mr.  Colclough;  they  fought  with  pistols, 
and  Colclough  was  shot  dead  at  the  first  fire. 

On  February  26,  1812,  in  Ireland,  O.  Joynt  and  P. 
McKim;  they  fought  with  pistols,  and  the  latter  was 
killed  at  the  first  fire.  On  January  3,  1806,  near  Not- 
tingham (England),  Ensigns  Brown  and  Butler,  of 
the  British  army;  Brown  was  shot  through  the  heart 
and  Butler  fled  the  country.  On  May  5,  1807,  at 
Combe  Wood,  near  Wimbledom  Common,  James 
Paull  and  Sir  Francis  Burdette;  they  fought  with 
pistols,  and  Burdette  was  severely  wounded  in  the 
thigh  at  the  second  shot.  On  June  8,  1807,  on  the 
Strand,  at  Ferrybank,  near  Wexford  (Ireland), 
Thomas  McCoard  and  Standish  Lowquay;  the  latter 
wounded  in  the  groin  at  the  second  shot.  In  Sep- 
tember, 1820,  two  young  gentlemen  named  Fenshaw 
and  Hartinger  fought  with  pistols  on  the  Ascot-heath 
race-course  (England),  and  at  the  third  fire  both  fell 
dangerously  wounded.  On  April  14,  1813,  two  French 
prisoners-of-war  on  board  the  English  prisonship 
Sampson  fought  with  scissors  tied  to  ends  of  brush 
handles,  and  battled  desperately  for  an  hour,  when 
one  of  them  fell  dead,  while  the  survivor  was  cut 
in  forty  places. 

On  the  2ist  of  September,  1806,  in  Hyde  Park, 
Baron  Hornpesch  and  Mr.  Richardson;  the  latter  was 
shot  dead  at  the  first  fire.  On  the  i2th  of  October, 
of  the  same  year,  Midshipman  Armstrong,  of  the 
Prince  of  Wales,  and  Midshipman  Long,  of  the  Resist- 
ance, quarrelled  at  dinner,  at  Plymouth,  and  went  out 
and  fought  with  pistols,  and  Long  was  killed  and  left 
in  the  street,  where  he  was  found  by  the  Port  Ad- 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS. 

miral  about  ten  o'clock.  Armstrong  was  charged 
with  murder  by  the  coroner's  jury,  and  sent  to  jail  in 
chains.  In  1823,  in  England,  near  Kew  bridge,  Gen- 
eral Pepe  and  General  Carascosa;  they  fought  with 
swords,  and  Carascosa  was  severely  wounded  in  the 
right  shoulder.  In  1851,  near  Bologne,  John  Petit 
and  George  Roussell;  they  fired  twice  without  effect, 
but  at  the  third  shot  the  former  was  killed. 

In  1743,  in  Italy,  two  Italian  noblemen  (the  Mar- 
quis Bagnesi  and  Marquis  Strozzi)  fought  with 
swords,  and  both  were  badly  wounded.  The  duel 
grew  out  of  a  quarrel  over  a  small  gambling  debt. 
A  still  more  trivial  cause  for  a  duel  was  that  of  Mr. 
MacDonnell,  who  got  enraged  at  Lieutenant  McLeod, 
at  a  ball,  in  Scotland,  in  1790,  because  the  latter 
"gave  him  an  impertinent  look;"  and  for  this 
MacDonnell  struck  the  officer  with  a  cane  and  drove 
him  out  of  the  room.  McLeod  at  once  challenged 
the  offender,  and  the  parties  met,  near  Edinburgh, 
with  pistols,  the  following  morning.  Before  taking 
their  places,  MacDonnell  said  to  McLeod:  "  Lieuten- 
ant, I  am  fully  convinced  that  I  was  in  the  wrong 
last  night,  and  I  am  willing  to  make  a  proper  apol- 
ogy." McLeod  turned  to  his  second,  who  claimed 
that  MacDonnell  should  also  submit  to  the  same  pun- 
ishment that  he  had  inflicted  upon  McLeod,  which 
terms  were  not  acceded  to;  after  which  they  fired  at 
each  other,  and  the  officer  was  killed.  MacDonnell 
was  at  once  arrested  and  tried  on  a  charge  of  murder, 
but  was  acquitted. 

Wraxhall,  in  his  "  Memoirs,"  relates  a  very  interest- 
ing account  of  a  duel  which  took  place  in  Germany, 
while  the  Earl  of  Stair  commanded  the  British  army 
in  that  country,  in  which  Lord  Mark  Kerr  (Stair's 


232  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 

nephew)  neatly  disposed  of  an  ungentlemanly 
Frenchman.  The  quarrel  grew  out  of  misconduct 
at  a  dinner  on  the  part  of  a  French  officer,  thus: 

A  difference  of  opinion  having  arisen  during  the  repast, 
on  some  point  which  was  maintained  by  one  of  the  French 
officers  with  great  pertinacity,  Lord  Mark  Kerr,  in  a  very 
gentle  tone  of  voice,  ventured  to  set  him  right  on  the 
matter  of  fact.  But  the  Frenchman,  unconscious  of  his 
quality,  and  perhaps  thinking  that  a  frame  so  delicate  did 
not  enclose  a  high  spirit,  contradicted  him  in  the  most  gross 
terms,  such  as  are  neither  used  nor  submitted  to  among 
gentlemen.  The  circumstance  took  place  so  near  to  Lord 
Stair  as  unavoidably  to  attract  his  attention.  No  notice 
whatever  was  taken  of  it  at  the  time,  and  after  dinner  the 
company  adjourned  to  another  tent,  where  coffee  was  served. 
Lord  Mark  coming  in  about  a  quarter  of  an  hour  later  than 
the  others,  Lord  Stair  no  sooner  observed  him,  than,  calling 
him  aside:  "  Nephew,"  said  he,  "  I  think  it  impossible  for 
you  to  pass  by  the  affront  that  you  have  received  from  the 
French  officer  at  my  table.  You  must  demand  satisfaction, 
however  much  I  regret  the  necessity  of  it."  "  O,  my  lord," 
answered  Lord  Mark,  with  his  characteristic  gentleness  of 
manner,  'you  need  not  be  under  any  uneasiness  on  that 
subject.  We  have  already  fought.  I  ran  him  through  the 
body.  He  died  on  the  spot,  and  they  are  at  this  moment 
about  to  bury  him.  I  knew  too  well  what  I  owed  myself, 
and  I  was  too  well  convinced  of  your  lordship's  way  of  think- 
ing to  lose  a  moment  in  calling  the  officer  to  account. 

One  of  the  most  memorable,  as  well  as  one  of 
the  most  desperate,  duels  in  the  annals  of  France 
took  place  in  Paris  during  the  reign  of  Henry  the 
Fourth  between  Lagarde  Valois  (a  gambler,  roue, 
and  swash-buckler)  and  Constant  Bezarier.  The 
former  had  stabbed  a  lad  named  Chretien,  whom 
he  had  attempted  to  rob,  at  a  restaurant;  and  during 
the  melee  Bezarier,  a  friend  of  the  young  nobleman, 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  233 

precipitated  himself  into  the  room,  just  as  Valois  was 
making  his  exit.  Despatching  a  domestic  for  a  sur- 
geon, Bezarier  took  off  Chretien's  hat,  with  its  rich 
ostrich  plume,  and  attaching  a  slip  of  paper  to  it, 
with  the  words,  "  Thou  thrice-accursed  coward,  Valois, 
meet  me,  Bezarier,  and  wear  this  hat,  if  thou  darest," 
he  sent  it  by  his  own  servant  to  Valois'  lodgings,  and 
then  looked  carefully  to  his  sword  and  dagger,  and 
left  for  the  "  Three  Brothers,"  the  residence  of  his 
friend  .Chretien.  He  had  only  proceeded,  however, 
as  far  as  the  Church  of  the  Sacred  Heart  when  he 
saw  approaching  him  Valois  himself,  with  the  identi- 
cal hat  on  his  head.  It  was  a  lonely  road,  and  there 
was  ample  room  there  for  two  desperate  men  bent  on 
fighting  a  duel  to  the  death.  In  an  instant  their 
swords  were  drawn,  and  they  sternly  saluted  each 
other.  The  next  and  the  blades  crossed.  For  some 
minutes  each  man  feinted  and  lunged  in  turn,  and  did 
his  utmost  to  discover  the  strength  of  his  adversary's 
resources.  Then  there  was  a  quick  pass  or  two,  then 
an  involuntary  pause.  "  We  meet  sooner  than  I 
expected,"  said  Valois,  his  face  aglow  with  the 
delight  of  battle.  "  I  knew  the  Sieur  Bezarier  would 
keep  his  promise  to  meet  me,  but  I  did  not  expect  to 
see  him  again  before  sunset."  "  You  are  a  liar  and  a 
cur,"  retorted  Bezarier,  sternly,  "  and  may  think 
yourself  fortunate  that  I  condescend  to  cross  swords 
with  you.  Shake  not  your  head  in  that  way,  man; 
I  know  you  !  Him  you  did  breakfast  with,  and  ply 
with  wine,  and  afterwards  rob,  he  was  my  friend,  and 
I  am  about  to  be  his  avenger.  Therefore,  make  your 
peace  with  Heaven,  for  short  is  the  shrift  I  shall  allow 
you."  "Fool!"  retorted  Valois,  white  with  rage. 
"  Who  are  you,  that,  on  the  repute  of  a  few  chance 


234  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 

encounters  with  obscure  men,  would  face  the  best 
swordsman  in  Paris  ?  I  hurl  your  defiance  back  in 
your  teeth.  Have  at  you,  now!"  With  that  he 
raised  his  sword,  and  with  a  quick  and  nimble  rush 
broke  over  Bezarier's  guard,  and  wounded  him  in  the 
forehead.  "  How  like  you  that  ?"  he  demanded. 
Bezarier  made  no  answer,  but  quietly  wiping  the 
blood  from  his  face,  smiled  disdainfully,  and  ad- 
vanced to  the  attack.  Again  the  swords  crossed. 
In  mere  skill  and  dexterity  the  combatants  were 
pretty  evenly  balanced,  but  Valois  was  the  most 
active  and  by  far  the  stronger  of  the  two.  Twice 
had  the  point  of  his  sword  swept  like  lightning 
within  an  inch  of  Bezarier's  heart,  and  only  by  the 
merest  good  fortune  did  the  latter  escape  untouched. 
But  his  coolness  and  resolution,  his  patience  and  per- 
tinacity, never  left  him.  Even  these  tokens  of 
his  adversary's  superiority  failed  to  provoke  him  to 
be  indiscreet.  He  parried  Valois'  impetuous  outsets 
with  a  calm  courage  that  left  nothing  to  be  desired. 
For  the  third  time  they  closed.  Though  Bezarier 
was  bleeding  freely  from  the  wound  he  had  received, 
he  bated  no  jot  of  his  vigilance — eye,  foot  and  hand 
were  equally  firm  and  true.  Evidently  it  was  his 
design  to  tire  out  Valois  before  he  attempted  any 
serious  effort  on  his  own  account.  Of  this  Valois 
soon  became  aware,  and  his  curses  were  frequent  and 
deep.  Once  more  he  made  a  savage  rush,  and  though 
Bezarier  parried  it,  the  exertion  seemed  to  tire  him, 
and  he  hung  longer  on  the  other's  blade  than  was 
altogether  safe.  Valois  noticed  it.  Quick  as 
thought  he  disengaged,  and  with  a  straight  and 
deadly  thrust  run  Bezarier  through  the  body.  The 
latter  staggered,  but  stood  his  ground  without  fall- 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  235 

ing.  "  That  is  for  the  hat  !"  cried  Valois,  mockingly. 
And  again  he  came  on.  Two  quick  feints,  two 
nimble  parries,  and  once  more  Valois  pierced  his 
enemy.  '*  For  the  feather,  fair  sir !"  he  said.  No 
reply.  Mute  and  grim,  deadly  pale,  and  bleeding 
profusely,  Bezarier  fought  on.  The  tenacity  of  the 
man  was  wonderful.  There  were  no  signs  of  yielding 
about  him,  and  it  was  evident  that  he  would  sur- 
render only  with  his  life.  Another  minute,  and 
Valois  for  the  third  time  in  succession  broke  down 
his  opponent's  guard,  and,  as  his  sword  went  through 
him,  exclaimed  exultingly:  "  And  that  is  for  the 
loop  !"  Then  Bezarier  drew  himself  together,  and 
spitting  out  the  blood  from  his  mouth,  drew  his 
dagger,  and  leapt  like  a  tiger  at  Valois'  throat.  Taken 
wholly  by  surprise  at  the  unlooked-for  display  of 
phenomenal  vigor,  the  latter  lost  his  footing,  and  fell 
heavily  to  the  ground.  That  fall  doomed  him  to 
sure  death.  Bezarier  planted  his  knee  upon  his 
chest,  and  held  him  down  powerless.  Then  he 
stabbed  Valois  in  throat  and  breast,  and  forehead, 
again  and  again — fourteen  gaping  wounds  in  all. 
Then  Bezarier  rose,  and  spurning  the  body  of  his 
dead  enemy  with  his  foot,  walked  quietly  back  to  the 
inn.  And,  it  may  be  stated,  in  conclusion,  that, 
although  Bezarier  was  run  through  the  body  three 
times,  he  lived  for  nearly  forty  years  afterward. 

On  the  third  of  May,  1808,  took  place  the  spec- 
tacular duel  between  M.  de  Grandpre  and  M.  de 
Pigne,  in  balloons,  above  Paris.  An  immense  crowd 
of  people  had  assembled  in  a  field  near  the  Tuileries. 
Each  principal  was  accompanied  by  one  second  ;  the 
weapons  were  blunderbusses,  and  the  terms  were  to 
fight  at  will.  The  ascent  took  place  before  noon; 


236  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

and  when  at  a  height  of  about  nine  hundred  feet, 
and  within  less  than  eighty  yards  of  each  other,  De 
Pigne  opened  fire,  the  masses  below  sent  up  a  great 
shout.  But  De  Pigne  missed,  while  De  Grandpre 
blazed  away.  Another  shout;  and  then  all  was  still; 
for  De  Pigne's  balloon  had  collapsed,  the  basket  had 
turned  over  and  let  its  occupants  out,  and  they  came 
down  through  the  air  heads  foremost,  and  were  dashed 
to  pieces  upon  the  same  housetop. 

Another  strange  duel  was  this  :  Captain  Raoul  de 
Vere  and'  Colonel  Barbier-Dufai,  of  Paris,  during  a 
quarrel,  agreed  to  settle  the  matter  by  getting  into 
a  coach  with  daggers  in  their  right  hands,  and  with 
their  left  arms  tied,  and  fighting  while  the  carriage 
was  being  driven  twice  around  the  Place  du  Car- 
rousel by  their  seconds.  Raoul  was  killed  and 
Barbier-Dufai  was  mortally  wounded. 

In  England,  in  1608,  Edward  Morgan  killed  John 
Egerton,  although  the  latter  had  in  a  former  duel 
spared  Morgan's  life.  In  1580,  in  France,  the  Vis- 
count Turenne  was  challenged  by  two  brothers, 
named  Duras  and  Rosan,  whom  he  fought.  The 
latter,  however,  took  many  advantages  unfairly,  and 
the  Viscount  was  wounded  in  twenty-two  places,  but 
lived.  During  the  early  part  of  the  seventeenth  cen- 
tury two  English  physicians  named  Bennett  and 
Williams  fought  in  Hyde  Park  with  swords  and  pis- 
tols. They  first  exchanged  shots,  in  which  both  were 
hit,  and  then  fell  to  with  their  swords.  Bennett,  at 
last,  fell,  mortally  wounded,  but  cried  out :  "  Merci- 
ful God  Almighty  !  give  me  a  little  more  strength  !" 
at  the  same  time  giving  his  antagonist  a  cut  that 
brought  him  down  also;  in  this  condition  they  fought 
for  nearly  fifteen  minutes,  then  both  expired. 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS. 

Of  all  the  duels  which  have  been  fought  in  defer- 
ence to  the  modern  principle  of  honor,  none  that  we 
have  ever  read  of  is  more  affecting  or  more  sangui- 
nary and  deadly  than  that  between  his  Grace  the 
Duke  of  B.  and  Lord  B.;  a  manuscript  description  of 
which  was  found  in  the  library  of  Mr.  Goodwin, 
author  of  the  life  of  Henry  VIII. — during  whose  reign 
the  affair  is  supposed  to  have  happened.  The  cause 
of  the  duel  was  an  affront  given  the  former  by  the 
latter  at  a  ball,  out  of  which  an  agreement  was  made 
to  fight  in  Hyde  Park  at  half-past  five  in  the  morning 
of  the  second  day  following.  The  description  of  the 
affair  is  as  follows: 

His  Grace  stripped  off  his  coat,  which  was  scarlet, 
trimmed  with  broad  ^pld  lace,  when  my  Lord  B.'s  second 
stepped  in  to  unbutton  his  waistcoat ,  on  which,  with  some 
indignation,  his  Grace  replied  :  "  Do  you  take  me  to  be  a 
person  of  so  little  honor  as  to  defend  myself  by  such  base 
means  as  hiding  a  shield  under  my  doublet  ?"  Lieutenant 
De  Lee  desired  his  excuse,  adding,  he  was  bound  in  honor 
to  see  justice  done  to  the  cause  he  had  espoused.  The 
same  ceremony  passed  upon  his  Lordship,  who  had  already 
pulled  off  his  coat,  which  was  crimson,  with  broad  silver 
lace;  and  both  the  combatants  being  ready,  my  Lord  B. 
added  :  "  Now,  if  it  please  your  Grace,  come  on  ;"  when  they 
instantly  both  stepped  into  the  circle.  His  Grace  fired  and 
missed ;  but  my  Lord  B.  perhaps  from  more  experience, 
knew  that  battles  were  seldom  won  by  hasty  measures,  de- 
liberately levelled  his,  and  wounded  his  antagonist  near  the 
throat.  They  both  discharged  again,  when  his  Lordship 
received  a  slight  wound  in  his  turn.  On  which,  they 
instantly  drew  their  swords,  and  impetuously  charged  each 
other;  rather  each  of  them  meditating  the  death  of  his 
adversary  than  his  own  safety.  In  the  first  or  second 
thrust  Lord  B.  entangled  the  toe  of  his  pump  in  a  tuft  of 
grass,  and,  in  evading  a  push  from  his  antagonist,  fell  on  his 


238  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

right  side,  but  supporting  himself  on  his  sword  hand,  by 
inconceivable  dexterity,  sprung  backwards  and  evaded  the 
push,  apparently  aimed  at  his  heart.  A  little  pause  inter- 
vening here,  his  Grace's  second  proposed  to  his  Lordship  a 
reconciliation;  but  the  ardent  thirst  after  each  other's  blood 
so  overpowered  the  strongest  arguments  of  reason,  that  they 
insisted  to  execute  each  other's  will,  whatever  might  be  the 
consequences.  Nay,  the  anger  of  his  Grace  was  raised  to 
such  a  pitch  of  revenge,  that  he,  in  that  critical  moment, 
swore  if,  for  the  future,  either  of  the  seconds  inter- 
posed, he  would  make  his  way  through  his  body.  Thus, 
after  finding  all  remonstrances  of  saving  them  without 
effect,  they  retired  to  their  limited  distance,  and  perhaps 
one  of  the  most  extraordinary  duels  ensued  that  the  records 
of  history  can  produce,  fairly  disputed,  hand  to  hand.  The 
parrying  after  this  interval  brought  on  a  close  lock,  which, 
Monsieur  des  Barreaux  says,  nothing  but  the  key  of  the 
body  can  open.  In  this  position  they  stood  for,  I  dare  say, 
a  minute,  striving  to  disengage  each  other  by  successive 
wrenches,  in  one  of  which  his  Grace's  sword-point  got  en- 
tangled in  the  guard  of  his  Lordship's,  which,  in  fact,  his 
Lordship  overlooked,  so  that  this  disadvantage  was  recov- 
ered by  his  Grace  before  the  consequence  which  it  might 
have  brought  on  was  executed.  At  last,  in  a  very  strong 
wrench  on  both  sides,  their  swords  sprung  from  their  hands; 
I  dare  say  his  Lordship's  flew  six  or  seven  yards  upright. 
This  accident,  however,  did  not  retard  the  affair  a  moment, 
but  both  seizing  their  thistles  at  the  same  time,  the  duel 
was  renewed  with  as  much  malevolence  as  ever.  By  this 
time  his  Lordship  had  received  a  thrust  through  the  inner 
part  of  his  sword  arm,  passing  right  forward  to  the  exterior 
part  of  the  elbow ;  his,  at  the  same  time,  passing  a  little 
over  that  of  his  antagonist;  but  alertly  drawing  back,  I 
think,  partly  before  his  Grace  had  recovered  his  push,  run 
him  through  the  body  a  little  above  the  right  pass.  His 
Lordship's  sword  being  thus  engaged,  nothing  was  left  for 
his  defence  but  a  naked  left  arm ;  and  his  Grace  being  in 
this  dangerous  situation,  yet  had  fair  play  at  almost  any  part 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  239 

of  his  Lordship's  body,  who  bravely  put  by  several  thrusts 
exactly  levelled  at  his  throat,  till,  at  last,  having  two  fingers 
cut  off  in  defending  the  pushes,  and  the  rest  mangled  to  a 
terrible  degree,  his  Grace  lodged  his  sword  one  rib  below  his 
heart,  and  in  this  effecting  condition  they  both  stood,  with- 
out either  being  able  to  make  another  push,  and  each  of 
them  by  this  time  was  in  a  manner  covered  with  blood  and 
gore,  when  both  the  seconds  stepped  in,  and  begged  they 
would  consider  their  situation,  and  the  good  of  their 
future  state ;  yet  neither  world  consent  to  part,  till,  by  the 
greater  loss  of  blood  which  his  Lordship  sustained,  he  fell 
down  senseless,  but  in  such  a  position  that  he  drew  his 
sword  out  of  his  Grace's  body ;  but  recovering  himself  a 
little  before  he  was  quite  down,  faltered  forward,  and  falling 
with  his  thigh  across  his  sword,  snapped  it  in  the  middle. 
His  Grace,  observing  that  he  was  no  longer  capable  of 
defence,  or  sensible  of  danger,  immediately  broke  his  own, 
and  fell  on  his  body,  with  the  deepest  signs  of  concern,  and 
both  expired  before  any  assistance  could  be  got,  though  Dr. 
Fountaine  had  orders  not  to  be  out  of  the  way  that  morn- 
ing. Thus  fell  these  two  gallant  men,  whose  personal 
bravery  history  can  scarcely  equal,  and  whose  honor 
nothing  but  such  a  cause  could  stain. 

In  1852,  near  Windsor  (England),  M.  Barthelmy 
and  M.  Courtney,  two  notorious  French  duellists, 
met  with  pistols,  at  forty  paces — to  advance  ten  paces 
before  firing,  and  then  fire  twice,  and  conclude  with 
swords.  Courtney  fired  first  and  missed  (for  the  first 
time  in  nearly  a  score  of  duels),  when  Barthelmy  pro- 
posed to  surrender  his  right  to  fire  if  Courtney  would 
agree  to  proceed  with  swords.  Courtney  declined, 
however,  and  Barthelmy  presented  his  weapon, 
which  snapped.  He  then  recapped,  and  presented 
again;  and  again  the  pistol  snapped.  It  was  then 
agreed  that  Barthelmy  should  use  Courtney's  pistol, 
which  he  did  with  fatal  effect.  Upon  the  return  of 


240  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

the  weapons  to  the  shop  where  they  were  hired,  it 
was  found  that  the  "  charge"  in  the  "  loaded  "  one 
consisted  of  a  linen  rag,  which  too  plainly  and  too 
atrociously  explained  why  Barthelmy's  pistol  twice 
snapped. 

On  the  7th  of  June,  1769,  M.  Chelais,  a  Member  of 
Parliament  in  France,  was  challenged  by  Captain 
Beguin,  an  ex-army  officer,  who  covered  himself  with 
an  armor  which  broke  the  sword  of  his  antagonist, 
whom  he  stabbed  to  death,  and  was  afterward  ar- 
rested, tried,  and  convicted,  and  sentenced  to  be 
broken  upon  the  wheel. 

During  the  reign  of  Henry  II.,  Chateauneuf,  a 
young  Parisian  duellist  of  nineteen,  challenged  his 
guardian,  M.  Lachesnaye,  an  old  man  of  eighty,  and 
literally  hacked  the  octogenarian  to  pieces;  while 
protecting  his  own  person,  it  was  afterward  dis- 
covered, with  a  neatly-fitting  cuirass.  At  or  about 
the  same  time  a  youth  named  St.  Andre  and  an  old 
gentleman  called  Matas  fought  with  swords  near 
Paris,  and  the  former  was  disarmed  but  given  his 
life  by  his  humane  antagonist;  who,  while  turning 
toward  his  horse,  was  stabbed  to  death  by  the  infuri- 
ated youth.  During  the  reign  of  Louis  XIII.  two 
men  of  Marseilles  agreed  to  fight  each  other  in  a  tub 
with  daggers,  and  both  were  stabbed  to  death. 
Charles  Armstrong,  of  England,  after  killing  his 
antagonist,  was  assassinated  by  the  second  of  the 
latter.  William  Harrington,  a  younger  brother  of 
Sir  Jonah  Harrington,  during  his  duel  with  Lieu- 
tenant McKenzie,  in  1777,  was  shot  dead  by 
Captain  Gillespie,  McKenzie's  second.  M.  Aubarrye, 
in  one  of  his  duels,  after  being  disarmed,  stabbed 
his  antagonist  with  a  dagger.  Armand  Carrel, 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  241 

after  having  made  a  written  apology  to  Emile  de 
Girardin,  was  slain  by  the  latter  in  the  woods  near 
Paris  in  1836.  The  Prince  of  Clarence  and  his  two 
seconds  were  assassinated  by  the  Duke  of  Biron 
and  his  seconds  near  Paris,  in  the  sixteenth  cen- 
tury. The  killing  of  M.  Dulong  by  Marshal 
Bugueaud,  near  Paris,  in  1834,  was  clearly  a  case  of 
murder.  John  Felton  (a  notorious  villain),  when  he 
challenged  the  Duke  of  Buckingham,  cut  off  one  of 
his  fingers  and  sent  it  with  his  challenge.  It  was 
proven  that  Major  Oneby,  who  fought  William 
Gower,  in  Hyde  Park,  in  1725,  committed  murder; 
he  was  sentenced  to  be  hung,  but  cheated  the 
executioner  by  taking  his  own  life. 


242  THE  FIELD   OF  HOHOR. 


CHAPTER  XIII. 
EUROPEAN  DUELS— CONCLUDED. 

Old-Time  Encounters  between  Highland  Cavaliers — The  Unfor- 
tunate Duel  between  Lieutenants  Riddell  and  Cunningham — 
Many  Meetings  in  Europe;  also  of  Europeans  in  India,  Canada, 
Mexico,  the  Barbadoes,  and  at  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope — Lord 
Lauderdale  and  Benedict  Arnold — A  Number  of  Judicial  Duels — 
On  Account  of  a  Gambling  Debt — Challenged  for  Disrespect- 
ful Utterances  of  the  Queen — Lord  Maiden  and  the  Duke  of 
Norfolk — On  the  Beach  at  Sandymount — Sir  Philip  Francis 
and  Warren  Hastings — Fatal  Duels  in  many  Lands — The  Duke 
of  Martina  and  Count  of  Conversano — An  Affair  of  Honor  be- 
tween Gentlemen  seated  in  Chairs — A  Number  of  Desperate 
Combats — Some  Furious  Encounters — A  Duel  on  Account  of  a 
Dispute  at  College  Fifteen  Years  Before — Miscellaneous  En- 
gagements down  to  March,  1884. 

IN  1653,  on  the  arrival  of  General  Middleton,  to 
take  chief  command  of  the  forces  which  had  been 
raised  in  the  Highlands  of  Scotland  for  the  king's 
service,  the  Earl  of  Glencairn,  who  had  previously 
been  their  general,  invited  Middleton,  with  all  his 
suite,  to  dine  with  him.  Glencairn's  quarters  was  at 
the  Laird  of  Kettle's  house,  four  miles  south  from 
Dornoch.  The  following  account  of  a  remarkable 
quarrel  which  occurred  after  dinner  is  from  a  manu- 
script, written  by  John  Graham,  of  Deuchrie,  who 
was  eye-  and  ear-witness  to  all  that  passed,  from  first 
to  last: 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS,  243 

The  grace  said  and  the  cloth  withdrawn,  his  lordship 
called  for  a  glass  of  wine,  and  then  addressed  the  general  in 
these  words:  "My  lord  general,  you  see  what  a  gallant 
army  these  worthy  gentlemen  here  present,  whom  I  have 
gathered  together,  at  a  time  when  it  could  hardly  be  ex- 
pected that  any  number  durst  meet  together ;  these  men 
have  come  out  to  serve  his  majesty,  at  the  hazard  of  their 
lives,  and  of  all  that  is  dear  to  them  ;  I  hope,  therefore,  you 
will  give  them  all  the  encouragement  to  do  their  duty  that 
lies  in  your  power."  On  this,  up  started  Sir  George  Monro 
from  his  seat,  and  said  to  Lord  Glencairn,  "  My  lord,  the 
men  you  speak  of  are  nothing  but  a  number  of  thieves  and 
robbers,  and  ere  long  I  will  bring  another  sort  of  men  to  the 
field."  On  which  Glengarie  started  up,  thinking  himself 
most  concerned  ;  but  Lord  Glencairn  desired  him  to  forbear, 
saying,  "  Glengarie,  I  am  more  concerned  in  this  affront  than 
you  are ;"  then  addressing  himself  to  Munro,  said,  "  You, 
sir,  are  a  base  liar  ;  for  they  are  neither  thieves  nor  robbers, 
but  gallant  gentlemen,  and  good  soldiers."  General  Middle- 
ton  desired  them  both  to  keep  the  king's  peace,  saying,  "  My 
lord,  and  you,  Sir  George,  this  is  not  the  way  to  do  the 
king  service ;  you  must  not  fall  out  among  yourselves ; 
therefore,  I  will  have  you  both  to  be  friends  ;"  and  immedi- 
ately calling  for  a  glass  of  wine,  said,  "  My  Lord  Glencairn,  I 
think  you  did  the  greatest  wrong  in  giving  Sir  George  the 
lie ;  you  shall  drink  to  him,  and  he  will  pledge  you."  The 
noble  and  good  Lord  Glencairn  accordingly  took  the  glass, 
as  ordered  by  the  general,  and  drank  to  Sir  George,  who,  in 
his  old  surly  humor,  muttered  some  words  which  were  not 
heard,  but  did  not  pledge  his  lordship.  The  general  gave 
orders  to  sound  to  horse ;  and  Lord  Glencairn  went  out  in 
order  to  accompany  him  to  the  headquarters  ;  but  the  gen- 
eral would  not  allow  him  to  go  above  a  mile  of  the  way.  His 
lordship  then  returned  back,  having  none  in  his  company 
but  Colonel  Blackader,  and  John  Graham,  of  Deuchrie. 
When  arrived,  he  became  exceeding  merry,  causing  the 
laird's  daughter  to  play  on  the  virginals,  and  all  the  servants 
about  the  house  to  dance.  Supper  being  now  ready,  and  on 


244  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

the  table,  as  my  lord  was  going  to  sit  down  one  of  the  ser- 
vants told  him  that  Alexander  Monro,  Sir  George's  brother, 
was  at  the  door.  My  lord  immediately  commanded  to  let 
him  in,  and  met  him  at  the  hall  door,  where  he  saluted  him, 
and  made  him  very  welcome,  saying,  "You  see,  sir,  the  meat 
is  on  the  table,  and  will  spoil  if  we  sit  not  down  to  it."  He 
placed  Monro  at  the  head  of  the  table,  next  the  laird's 
daughter.  All  present  were  very  merry.  My  lord  told 
Monro  he  would  give  him  a  spring  if  he  would  dance ;  which 
accordingly  he  did  with  the  rest,  the  laird's  daughter  play- 
ing. While  the  rest  were  merry,  his  lordship  and  Monro 
slipped  aside  ;  they  did  not  speak  a  dozen  words  together,  as 
all  thought,  and  after  drinking  a  little  longer,  Monro  de- 
parted. My  lord  then  called  for  a  candle,  and  went  to  bed. 
There  were  two  beds  in  his  room,  in  one  of  which  he  lay, 
and  in  the  other  lay  Blackader  and  Deuchrie.  The  whole 
family  in  a  little  time  went  to  bed.  None  knew  of  his  lord- 
ship's design  but  one  John  White,  who  was  his  trumpeter 
and  valet-de-chambre.  The  night  being  very  short,  and  my 
lord  being  to  meet  Monro  half-way  between  his  quarters  and 
Dornoch,  their  meeting  was  to  be  as  soon  as  they  could  per- 
ceive daylight :  so  that  his  lordship  got  not  two  hours'  rest 
before  he  rose ;  and,  notwithstanding  the  two  aforesaid  gen- 
tlemen lay  in  the  room  with  him,  he  went  out  and  returned 
from  the  encounter  without  the  knowledge  of  any  one  in  the 
house  except  John  White,  his  servant,  who  accompanied 
him.  Monro  came,  accompanied  by  his  brother.  They  were 
both  well  mounted  :  each  of  the  parties  was  to  use  one  pis- 
tol ;  after  the  discharging  of  which  they  were  to  decide  the 
quarrel  with  broadswords.  Their  pistols  were  fired  without 
doing  any  execution,  and  they  made  up  to  each  other  with 
their  broadswords  drawn.  After  a  few  passes  his  lordship 
had  the  good  fortune  to  give  Sir  George  a  sore  stroke  on 
the  bridle  hand ;  whereupon  Sir  George  cried  out  to  his 
lordship  that  he  was  not  able  to  command  his  horse,  and  he 
hoped  he  would  allow  him  to  fight  on  foot.  My  lord  re- 
plied, "  You  base  carle !  I  will  show  you  that  I  will  match 
you  either  on  foot  or  on  horseback."  They  then  both  quitted 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  24$ 

their  horses  and  furiously  attacked  each  other  on  foot.  At 
the  very  first  bout,  the  noble  earl  gave  him  so  sore  a  stroke 
on  the  brows,  about  an  inch  above  his  eyes,  that  he  could 
not  see  for  the  blood  that  issued  from  the  wound.  His  lord- 
ship was  just  going  to  thrust  him  through  the  body ;  but  his 
man,  John  White,  forced  up  his  sword,  saying,  "  You  have 
enough  of  him,  my  lord,  you  have  got  the  better  of  him." 
His  lordship  was  very  angry  with  John,  and  in  a  great  pas- 
sion gave  him  a  blow  over  the  shoulder.  He  then  took 
horse  and  came  back  to  his  quarters.  Monro  went  straight 
away  to  the  headquarters,  and  his  brother  had  much  ado  to 
get  him  conveyed  there,  by  reason  of  the  bleeding  both  of 
his  hand  and  head.  The  general  being  acquainted  with  this 
meeting,  immediately  sent  Captain  Ochtrie  Campbell,  with  a 
guard,  to  secure  the  Earl  of  Glencairn  in  his  quarters,  which 
accordingly  was  done  before  six  in  the  morning.  The  gen- 
eral had  ordered  Captain  Campbell  to  take  his  lordship's 
sword  from  him,  and  to  commit  him  to  arrest  in  his 
chamber,  taking  his  parole.  This  affair  happened  on  Sunday 
morning.  In  the  week  ensuing  there  fell  out  an  accident 
which  made  the  breach  still  wider  betwixt  his  lordship  and 
Monro.  One  Captain  Livingston,  who  came  over  with 
Monro,  and  a  gentleman  called  James  Lindsay,  who  came 
over  with  Lord  Napier,  had  some  hot  words  together.  Liv- 
ingston alleged  Monro  was  in  the  right,  and  Lindsay  in- 
sisted in  the  contrary.  They  challenged  each  other,  and 
went  out  early  in  the  morning  to  the  links  of  Dornoch, 
where,  at  the  very  first  bout,  Lindsay  thrust  his  sword 
through  Livingston's  heart,  so  that  in  a  short  time  he  ex- 
pired. Lindsay  was  afterward  shot  to  death,  notwithstand- 
ing Lord  Glencairn  and  many  other  officers  did  all  they 
could  to  secure  the  setting  aside  of  the  sentence. 

In  1783,  in  England,  Lieutenant  Riddell,  of  the 
Horse  Grenadiers,  and  Lieutenant  Cunningham,  of 
the  Scots  Grays,  quarrelled  at  play,  and  Riddell  chal- 
lenged Cunningham,  who  declined  to  meet  him;  but 
many  of  the  officers  often  recurring  to  the  circum- 


246  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

stance,  Mr.  Cunningham  found  it  necessary,  for  the 
full  restoration  of  his  honor,  to  call  Mr.  Riddell  out. 
This  appeal  Mr.  Riddell  considered  as  out  of  season, 
and  declined  yielding  to  it  until  he  had  consulted  his 
brother  officers,  who  agreed  that  there  was  no  obliga- 
tion on  him  to  answer  Mr.  Cunningham.  On  learning 
this  determination,  Mr.  Cunningham,  with  the  view 
of  forcing  Mr.  Riddell  to  fight,  publicly  insulted  him. 
The  latter  observed  that  as  this  was  a  fresh  affront  it 
should  not  pass  unnoticed.  He  then  returned  home, 
and  proceeded  to  make  some  necessary  arrangements, 
when  he  received  a  note  from  Mr.  Cunningham,  re- 
minding him  of  the  affront  which  he  had  passed 
upon  him,  and  declaring  his  readiness  to  give  him 
satisfaction.  This  note  coming,  while  the  wafer  was 
yet  wet,  to  the  hands  of  Sir  James  Riddell,  who  was 
under  some  apprehension  of  his  son's  situation, 
opened  it,  and  having  read  it,  closed  it,  without  tak- 
ing any  other  notice  of  its  contents  than  providing 
the  assistance  of  the  most  eminent  surgeons.  The 
parties  met,  and  eight  paces  were  measured,  at  which 
distance  they  took  their  ground.  They  tossed  up  for 
the  first  fire,  which  Mr.  Riddell  won.  He  fired,  and 
shot  Mr.  Cunningham  under  the  right  breast;  he 
reeled  back,  but  did  not  fall.  Mr.  Riddell  still  kept 
his  ground.  Mr.  Cunningham,  after  a  pause  of  a  few 
minutes,  declared  he  would  not  be  taken  off  the  field 
till  he  had  fired  at  his  adversary.  He  then  presented 
his  pistol,  and  Mr.  Riddell  was  mortally  wounded. 
He  died  in  the  course  of  the  evening,  a  victim,  not  to 
the  passion,  but  to  the  custom  of  duelling. 

On  the  i8th  of  July,  1791,  at  Paris,  political  ani- 
mosities sent  the  Duke  de  Castries  and  Monsieur 
Lameth  into  the  field,  and  the  latter  was  danger- 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  247 


ously  wounded.  On  the  iQth  of  July,  same  year, 
Messrs.  Graham  and  Julius,  attorneys,  dined  to- 
gether and  quarrelled  during  a  discussion  about  re- 
ligion, and  settled  their  differences  the  next  morning 
upon  Blackheath  (England)  with  pistols;  Graham 
(who  was  an  eminent  special  pleader)  being  mortally 
wounded  at  the  first  fire.  Julius  was  the  challenged 
party,  his  second  being  Mr.  Maxwell;  while  Mr.  Ellis 
acted  as  second  for  Mr.  Graham.  On  the  ist  of 
March,  1792,  Messrs.  Aikin  and  Kemble,  of  Drury 
Lane  Theatre,  fought  near  London,  the  former  firing 
without  effect  and  the  latter  declining  to  discharge 
his  weapon.  They  had  no  seconds,  but  Mr.  Bannis- 
ter, a  mutual  friend,  accompanied  them,  and  effected 
a  reconciliation  after  the  first  fire. 

On  the  2d  of  July,  1792,  a  hostile  meeting  took 
place  between  Lord  Lauderdale  and  General  Bene- 
dict Arnold  (the  latter  the  notorious  American 
traitor),  near  Kilburn  Wells  (England).  Arnold 
fired  without  effect,  and  Lauderdale  withheld  his  fire. 
He  said:  "I  did  not  come  here  to  fire  at  the  General, 
nor  can  I  retract  any  of  the  offensive  expressions.  If 
General  Arnold  is  not  satisfied  he  may  fire  until 
he  is;"  after  which,  Messrs.  Fox  and  Hawke,  the 
seconds,  succeeded  in  terminating  the  affair.  A  day 
or  two  before  a  similar  meeting  had  taken  place  be- 
tween the  Earl  and  the  Duke  of  Richmond.  On  the 
8th  of  November,  1792,  M.  Charles  Lameth,  who  had 
been  dangerously  wounded  in  a  duel  about  sixteen 
months  before,  by  the  Duke  de  Castries,  met  M.  de 
Chauvigny  upon  the  grounds  near  the  residence  of 
M.  Lameth,  near  Paris,  and  was  again  wounded. 
The  weapons  used  were  swords,  and  the  seconds 
were  the  Duke  de  Pierine  and  Count  de  Chabane  for 


248  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Chauvigny,  and  Mr.  Maselet  and  the  Duke  d'Aiguil- 
lon  for  Monsieur  Lameth.  In  1827,  at  Dublin,  be- 
tween Mr.  Brie  and  Mr.  Hayes,  in  which  the  former 
was  killed;  weapons,  pistols. 

In  878  a  judicial  duel  was  fought  in  France  be- 
tween Ingelgerius  and  Gontran,  with  swords,  and  the 
latter  was  killed.  The  victor  was  only  sixteen  years 
old.  After  killing  Gontran,  Ingelgerius  cut  off  his 
head  and  presented  it  to  Louis  the  Second.  Another 
memorable  French  judicial  duel  was  that  between 
Troussel  and  Du  Gueschin,  in  which  the  latter  was 
victorious.  During  the  reign  of  Charles  the  Sixth  a 
judicial  duel  was  fought  between  Sieur  Carrouges 
and  Sieur  Leguis,  in  which  the  latter  was  defeated 
and  then  hanged.  In  1509,  in  Paris,  between  L'Isle 
Marivant  and  Marolles — the  former  killed.  During 
the  reign  of  Louis  the  Thirteenth,  between  the  Mar- 
quis de  Themines  and  the  Marquis  de  Richelieu  (a 
brother  of  the  great  Cardinal),  in  which  de  Richelieu 
was  killed.  Also  between  Marquis  de  Valencay  and 
Marquis  de  Cavois — the  latter  killed. 

On  the  3oth  of  October,  1824,  at  Bull  Inn,  Edin- 
burgh, Captain  Gourlay  and  Mr.  Westall  quarrelled 
over  a  gambling  debt  of  seventy  guineas,  when  the 
latter  called  the  officer  a  liar  and  Gourlay  struck  the 
offender  with  a  poker;  after  which  they  repaired  to  a 
field  near  town  and  fought  with  pistols,  Gourlay  be- 
ing shot  dead  at  the  first  fire.  On  the  2ist  of  Febru- 
ary, 1827,  in  Paris,  two  medical  students  named  Gou- 
lard and  Caire  quarrelled  over  a  game  of  billiards, 
and  went  to  the  Bois  de  Boulogne  and  fought  with 
pistols,  and  the  former  was  killed.  Caire  was  ar- 
rested upon  the  following  day,  tried  and  convicted  of 
murder,  and  branded  and  sentenced  to  hard  labor  for 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  249 

life.  On  the  8th  of  June,  1830,  in  England,  Richard 
William  Lambrecht  and  Oliver  Clayton  fought  with 
pistols,  and  the  latter  was  killed.  At  Boulogne, 
April  i,  1829,  Captain  Helsham  and  Lieutenant 
Crowther  of  the  British  army  met  with  pistols  at  ten 
paces,  and  the  latter  was  killed. 

On  the  i5th  of  July,  1842,  between  Hon.  Craven 
Berkeley,  M.P.,  and  Captain  Boldero,  M.P.,  near 
Osterly  Park,  with  pistols.  The  latter  was  charged 
with  utterances  disrespectful  of  the  Queen  by  Berke- 
ley. The  two  gentlemen  were  attended  by  Hons.  W. 
Ridley  Colbourne  and  W.  F.  Mackenzie,  Members  of 
Parliament,  who  terminated  the  meeting  after  a 
harmless  exchange  of  shots.  On  the  iyth  of  Decem- 
ber, 1842,  between  J.  P.  Stanfield  and  Sir  R.  Carding- 
ton,  near  London,  with  pistols,  at  twelve  paces.  The 
latter  was  wounded  in  the  arm,  while  his  own  bullet 
passed  through  the  collar  of  Stanfield's  coat.  On  the 
loth  of  December,  1839,  between  Lord  George  Loftus 
and  Lord  Harley,  at  Boulogne;  the  parties  ex- 
changed one  shot,  without  injury  to  either.  On  the 
i3th  of  June,  1839,  between  Lord  Londonderry  and 
H.  Grattan,  on  Wimbledom  Common;  Grattan  fired 
and  missed,  and  his  lordship  discharged  his  pistol  in 
the  air.  In  1809,  near  London,  between  Captain 
Cadogan  and  Lord  Paget,  who  fired  once  at  each 
other  without  either  sustaining  injury. 

On  the  3oth  of  April,  1796,  in  England,  the  Duke 
of  Norfolk  and  Lord  Maiden  met  in  a  field  beyond 
Paddington  and  fired  once  without  effect,  when  a 
reconciliation  was  effected  by  their  seconds — Cap- 
tains Taylor  and  Wombwell.  On  June  19,  1794,  Mr. 
Rowlls,  a  brewer,  was  killed  by  Richard  England  in 
a  duel  at  Cranford  Bridge.  The  affair  grew  out  of  a 


250  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

disturbance  between  the  two  gentlemen  at  Ascot 
races  a  few  days  before.  On  the  ipth  of  July,  1796, 
England  was  found  guilty  of  manslaughter,  and  was 
sentenced  to  pay  a  fine  of  one  shilling  and  to  be  im- 
prisoned in  Newgate  for  twelve  months.  In  Paris,  in 
1819,  between  Theophilus  Walsh  and  Edward  Pellew, 
(officers  of  the  British  army),  with  pistols;  Pellew 
killed.  In  1819,  in  Ireland,  between  Charles  Phillips 
and  Mr.  Henriquez;  two  shots  and  neither  hurt.  In 
1685,  in  England,  Robert  Radcliffe  was  killed.  In 
1829,  in  England,  Captain  Plowden.  In  the  province 
of  New  Brunswick,  in  1821,  George  F.  Street  and 
George  L.  Wetmore;  they  fought  with  pistols,  at  fif- 
teen paces,  and  Wetmore  was  mortally  wounded  at 
the  second  shot,  the  first  shot  from  his  antagonist's 
pistol  taking  effect  in  Wetmore's  arm.  The  survivor 
and  his  second  (Lieutenant  R.  Davis,  of  the  Seventy- 
fourth  British  Foot)  were  tried  for  murder  and  ac- 
quitted. 

On  February  12,  1814,  on  the  beach  at  Sandy- 
mount,  near  Dublin,  Counsellors  Hatchell  and  Mor- 
ley.  The  latter  fired  first  and  missed,  and  was  then 
shot  dead  by  his  adversary.  In  May,  1812,  two 
French  officers  on  parole  in  Reading  (England),  be- 
ing unable  to  get  a  case  of  pistols,  agreed  to  fight 
with  a  single  fowling-piece,  first  one  to  take  a  shot 
and  then  the  other,  at  fifty  paces.  The  first  shot, 
however,  took  effect.  On  October  7,  1812,  Lieuten- 
ants Bagnall  and  Stuart,  of  the  Royal  Marines, 
fought  with  pistols,  near  Portsmouth,  and  Bagnall 
fell  mortally  wounded  at  the  second  fire.  On 
September  6,  1810,  on  Wimbledom  Common,  George 
Payne  and  Mr.  Clark;  they  fought  with  pistols,  and 
Payne  was  mortally  wounded  at  the  first  fire.  On 


NO  TED  E  UROPEAtf  D  UELS.  2  5 1 

March  4,  1811,  at  Barbadoes,  Captain  Boardman,  of 
the  Sixtieth  Foot,  and  Ensign  De  Betten,  of  the 
Royal  West  Indies  Rangers;  at  the  first  fire  Board- 
man received  his  antagonist's  bullet  in  the  heart  and 
fell  dead.  In  January,  1812,  two  men  fought  at  Bor- 
deaux, and  one  of  them  fell  dead  at  the  first  fire.  It 
was  discovered,  however,  upon  examination  of  the 
victim,  that  he  had  died  from  either  excitement  or 
fright,  as  he  had  not  been  touched  by  his  adversary's 
bullet. 

In  1783,  in  India,  Sir  Philip  Francis  and  Warren 
Hastings,  with  pistols;  the  former  was  dangerously 
wounded,  but  recovered.  In  India,  in  1775,  General 
Clavering  and  Mr.  Barnwell;  they  fought  with 
pistols,  and  fired  once  without  effect.  In  1819,  in 
Canada,  Mr.  Caldwell  and  Mr.  O'Sullivan  fought 
with  pistols,  and  both  were  badly  wounded  at  the 
first  fire.  In  1720,  at  or  near  Hanover,  Vice-Admiral 
Tordenskiold,  of  Denmark,  and  Colonel  Stahl,  of 
Sweden.  The  latter  had  swindled  a  young  officer 
out  of  a  large  sum  of  money  at  cards,  at  which  the 
Admiral  gave  Stahl  a  piece  of  his  mind;  who,  in 
return,  called  Tordenskiold  a  rascally  sailor.  The 
latter  then  drove  the  Colonel  out  into  the  street  with 
a  cane,  and  afterward  snatched  from  the  officer  the 
sword  he  had  drawn  and  broke  it  over  his  head. 
Stahl  then  challenged  the  Admiral,  who  accepted, 
and  was  run  through  the  body  and  killed. 

On  the  pth  of  May,  1802,  Generals  Regnier  and 
Destaing  fought  in  the  Bois  de  Boulogne  with  pis- 
tols, and  the  latter  was  killed  at  the  first  fire.  Des- 
taing had  been  made  a  general  of  division  for  gallant 
behavior  at  the  Battle  of  the  Pyramids;  and  at  the 
Battle  of  Aboukir  he  repulsed  the  first  line  of  the 


THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Turks  and  drove  the  latter  into  the  sea.  He  was  the 
challenging  party,  but  the  French  Government  pen- 
sioned his  widow.  At  Rathgar,  near  Dublin,  on  the 
8th  of  June,  1802,  Sir  Richard  Musgrave  was  shot  in 
the  thigh  by  William  Todd  Jones,  the  latter  having 
been  the  challenged  party.  At  the  Cape  of  Good 
Hope,  on  the  i4th  of  March,  1802,  Lieutenant  Rae 
and  Purser  Bremen,  of  his  Majesty's  ship  Hindostan, 
fought  with  pistols  in  the  East  India  Company's  gar- 
dens, and  Bremen  was  killed  at  the  third  fire.  Saw- 
yer, a  captain's  clerk  of  the  British  war-vessel, 
Inflexible,  fought  with  a  marine  near  Deal  (Ireland), 
on  the  pth  of  October,  1804,  and  was  killed  at  the 
first  shot.  On  the  4th  of  January,  1806,  near  Liver- 
pool, Colonel  Brookes  and  Major  Bolton;  the  latter 
killed  at  the  first  fire.  On  the  22d  of  March,  1860, 
on  Galleywood  Common,  near  Chelmsford  (England) 
Lieutenant  Turrens  and  Surgeon  Fisher,  both  of  the 
Sixth  Regiment  Foot,  with  pistols  ;  the  former  mor- 
tally wounded  at  the  first  fire.  The  coroner's  jury 
returned  a  verdict  of  wilful  murder  against  Fisher, 
and  he  absconded. 

In  1784,  in  England,  Count  Alfieri  and  Lord  Lig- 
onier,  in  which  the  latter  was  wounded  ;  weapons, 
swords.  In  1664,  in  Naples,  the  Duke  of  Martina 
and  the  Count  of  Conversano,  with  swords.  Pre- 
vious to  the  duel  the  Duke  executed  a  will  and  made 
religious  preparations  for  his  death,  while  the  Count 
ordered  a  magnificent  dinner  to  which  he  invited  a 
large  number  of  his  friends.  The  Count,  however, 
was  killed.  In  1809,  in  England,  Viscount  Falkland 
and  A.  Powell,  with  swords;  the  former  was  mortally 
wounded.  In  1770,  in  Ireland,  Sir  Edward  Crofton 
and  George  French,  with  pistols  ;  the  latter  was 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  253 

killed.  In  1825,  in  France,  Count  Segur  and  Baron 
de  Gourgaud,  with  swords;  the  former  was  wounded. 
In  1809,  in  England,  Lieutenant  Sparling  and  Cap- 
tain Grayson,  with  pistols  ;  the  latter  was  killed  and 
the  former  was  tried  for  the  offence  and  acquitted. 

On  the  22d  of  August,  1838,  on  Wimbledom  Com- 
mon, Francis  Lionel  Elliott  and  John  Flower  Mirfin, 
in  which  the  latter  was  killed  at  the  first  shot;  Elliott 
then  made  his  escape  ;  but  the  two  seconds  (John 
Young  and  Henry  Webber)  were  arrested  and  con- 
victed of  manslaughter  and  sent  to  Guilford  jail  for 
one  year.  On  the  26th  of  July,  1882,  M.  Pinac  was 
killed  in  a  duel  at  Begnires  by  an  Englishman,  who 
had  been  challenged  for  writing  on  the  margin  of  a 
pamphlet  that  "  Everything  concerning  the  battle  of 
Toulouse  within  is  false.  Wellington  gained  a  com- 
plete victory,  and  the  French  army  is  indebted  to  the 
generosity  of  Wellington  that  it  was  not  put  to  the 
sword."  On  the  6th  of  January,  1882,  M.  Benjamin 
Constant  and  M.  Forbin  des  Issarts,  near  Paris, 
seated  in  chairs,  at  ten  paces,  on  account  of  the  rheu- 
matism of  the  former.  They  fired  two  shots  at  each 
other,  when  the  seconds  terminated  the  affair. 

On  the  igih  of  February,  1797,  in  Phoenix  Park, 
Dublin,  Lord  Blaney  and  the  Duke  de  Fitz  James,  in 
which  the  latter  was  shot  in  the  side.  Also  in  Dub- 
lin, on  the  i2th  of  December,  1797,  between  Colonel 
Fitzgerald  and  the  Earl  of  Kingston,  in  which  both 
were  slightly  wounded.  A  son  of  the  latter  then  met 
Fitzgerald,  and  after  firing  once  they  grappled  with 
each  other  ;  and,  just  as  Fitzgerald  was  in  the  act  of 
killing  young  Kingston,  the  Earl  rushed  in  upon  the 
combatants  and  shot  Fitzgerald  through  the  heart, 
thereby  saving  his  son's  life.  The  Colonel  died 


254  T£fE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 

lamented  by  none,  as  he  had  betrayed  a  daughter  of 
the  Earl.  Early  in  1802  Lieutenant  Bailey  and  Mr. 
Forbes  fought  with  pistols  at  Bombay,  and  the  latter 
was  killed  at  the  first  fire.  Bailey  and  his  second 
were  sent  to  Botany  Bay — the  former  for  fourteen 
and  the  latter  for  seven  years.  On  the  6th  of  Octo- 
ber, 1802,  at  Quebec,  Major  Impey  and  Lieutenant 
Willis,  of  the  Sixth  (British)  Foot,  quarrelled  in  the 
mess-room  and  fought  the  next  day  with  pistols, 
Impey  falling  mortally  wounded  at  the  first  fire.  On 
March  i,  1802,  at  Paris,  in  the  wood  of  Boulogne, 
Captain  Knoring,  a  Livonian,  was  killed  at  the 
fourth  fire  by  a  Hanoverian  gentleman  named 
Brusch.  The  cause  of  the  duel  was  a  dispute  at 
college  fifteen  years  before. 

In  July,  1775,  at  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope,  Captains 
Ferguson  and  Roach,  of  the  East  India  Company's 
Land  Service,  quarrelled  at  the  dinner-table,  and 
shortly  afterward  retired  to  the  street,  and  fought  it 
out  with  swords,  Ferguson  at  last  being  killed  ;  but 
not  until  Roach  had  received  several  serious  cuts  in 
the  head  and*  sustained  a  dislocation  of  the  left  arm. 
The  survivor  was  tried  for  murder,  but  was  acquit- 
ted at  the  Cape.  He  was  afterward  tried  for  man- 
slaughter in  England,  and  was  again  acquitted.  In 
1618,  in  England,  Edward  Percy  and  Philip  Consta- 
ble met  with  swords,  and  after  a  furious  contest  the 
latter  was  killed.  On  the  2d  of  February,  1773,  the 
Earl  of  Bellamont  and  Lord  Townshend  fought  at 
Marylebone  Fields,  near  London.  They  went  to  the 
grounds  armed  with  swords  and  pistols,  but  upon 
their  arrival  it  was  decided  by  their  seconds  (Hon. 
Mr.  Dille  for  Bellamont  and  Lord  Ligonier  for 
Townshend)  that  they  should  fight  with  the  latter 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS.  255 

weapons,  and  the  Earl  was  dangerously  wounded  at 
the  first  fire.  He  was  in  such  great  agony  from  the 
wound,  which  was  in  the  belly,  that  he  could  not  ride 
in  his  chaise,  and  was  carried  to  his  residence  in  a 
chair. 

In  Ireland,  in  1772,  Captain  Benjamin  Barne  and 
Charles  Mathews  fought  with  pistols,  and  Barne  was 
killed  at  the  first  fire.  In  1849,  near  Paris,  Monsieur 
Lacombe  and  Monsieur  Charles  Blanc  fought  with 
swords,  and  the  former  was  wounded  in  the  arm.  In 
1822,  in  Scotland,  James  Stuart  and  Sir  Alexander 
Boswell  fought  with  pistols,  and  Boswell  was  killed. 
The  survivor  was  tried  for  murder,  but  was  acquit- 
ted. It  was  shown  at  the  trial  that  Stuart's  friends 
made  all  reasonable  efforts  to  adjust  the  difficulty, 
but  that  the  attitude  of  Boswell  made  the  meeting 
unavoidable.  The  second  of  Mr.  Boswell  testified 
that  the  Earl  spurned  all  overtures  tending  toward 
reconciliation  or  adjustment. 

On  the  1 7th  of  January,  1821,  at  Calais,  between 
Lieutenant-Colonel  Burgos  Cumac,  of  the  First 
(British)  Life  Guards,  and  Richard  Gough  ;  the 
parties  fired  once  without  effect,  and  at  the  second 
shot  Cumac  was  hit  in  the  leg.  On  the  i3th  of  Feb- 
ruary, 1832,  on  Wimbledom  Common,  between 
Major-General  Lorenzo  Moore  and  Miles  Stapylton 
— the  latter  wounded  at  the  first  fire.  On  the  8th  of 
April,  1826,  on  Wormwood  Scrubs,  with  pistols,  Cap- 
tain Dickson  and  Colonel  Evans  (both  of  the  British 
army)  ;  the  latter  wounded.  At  Simla  (India),  in 
January,  1837,  between  Lieutenant  Frazer,  of  the 
Seventh  (British)  Cavalry,  and  Lieutenant  Rose,  of 
the  Eleventh  Dragoons — the  latter  wounded  in  the 
thigh.  Also,  in  England  :  On  September  18,  1820, 


256  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Mr.  Henshaw  and  Mr.  Hartinger — both  desperately 
wounded  ;  on  February  12,  1814,  Mr.  Hatchel  and 
Mr.  Morley — the  latter  slightly  wounded  ;  October 
7,  1812,  Lieutenants  Stewart  and  Bagnal — the  lat- 
ter mortally  wounded  ;  February  7,  1815,  Colonel 
Quentin  and  Colonel  Palmer — no  fatality  ;  Novem- 
ber 19,  1835,  Mr.  Roebuck,  M.P.,  and  Mr.  Black, 
editor  of  the  London  Morning  Chronicle — two  shots 
each  and  neither  hurt ;  January  22,  1833,  Mr.  Storey 
and  Mr.  Mathias — the  latter  wounded  ;  on  the  same 
day  Mr.  Maher  and  Mr.  Colles — neither  hurt ;  in 
December,  1817,  Captain  Fottrell  and  Colonel  Ross 
— five  shots  each,  but  no  fatality  ;  in  August,  1827, 
Rev.  Mr.  Hodson  and  Mr.  Grady — the  latter  severely 
wounded  ;  May  29,  1835,  Sir  Colquhoun  Grant  and 
Lord  Seymour — no  fatality  ;  May  26,  1836,  Mr.  Ruth- 
ven  fought  two  duels,  one  with  Mr.  Scott  and  one 
with  Mr.  Close,  wounding  the  latter.  On  March  9, 
1884,  at  Antwerp,  General  David  (Commander  of  the 
Civic  Guards)  and  Mr.  Williams  (a  broker),  with 
swords — the  latter  badly  wounded.  In  Paris,  De- 
cember 1 8,  1883,  between  Octave  Mirabeau  and  Paul 
Bonnetain  (on  account  of  Marie  Colombier's  book  on 
Sarah  Bernhardt),  with  swords  ;  Bonnetain  wounded 
twice.  At  Lisbon,  on  March  12,  1884,  between  Vis- 
count Roberdo  and  Major  Serpa  Pinto,  with  swords 
— the  former  wounded  in  five  places.  On  the  3d  of 
March,  1884,  near  Matamoras  (Mexico),  Major  Lopez 
Martablo  was  killed  at  the  first  shot  by  the  editor  of 
the  Matamoras  Cronista. 

On  the  i4th  of  February,  1884,  a  duel  took  place  in 
Paris  between  M.  Laguerre  and  M.  Chauriance, 
(members  of  the  French  Chamber  of  Deputies,)  with 
pistols,  and  the  former  was  wounded  in  the  knee. 


NOTED  EUROPEAN  DUELS. 

On  the  2oth  of  April,  1884,  a  duel  with  swords  was 
fought  in  the  Bois  de  Boulogne  between  Joseph 
Casey,  a  Fenian,  and  Captain  Scully,  an  Irish-Ameri- 
can. Scully  had  been  suspected  of  being  an  in- 
former. The  duel  resulted  in  Scully  being  slightly 
wounded  in  the  neck.  His  sword  was  also  broken. 
On  the  8th  of  May,  1884,  near  the  city  of  Mexico, 
between  Sefior  Torres  (formerly  Governor  of  Sonora) 
and  Sefior  Garza,  with  pistols — Torres  wounded  in 
the  right  hand. 


THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 


CHAPTER  XIV. 
NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS. 

The  First  Fatal  Meeting  in  the  United  States— A  Number  of 
Early  Affairs— Gwinnett  and  Mclntosh — Generals  Howe  and 
Gadsden — Lee  and  Laurens — Con  way  and  Cadwallader — De 
Witt  Clinton  and  Swartwout — Gardenier  and  Campbell — Finch 
and  White,  and  many  others — What  English  Rudeness  to  Amer- 
ican Officers  Cost — Affairs  of  British  Officers  in  America — 
Philip  Hamilton's  Fatal  Duel — A  Savage  Encounter  at  Blad- 
ensburg  between  Mason  and  McCarty— A  Number  of  Despe- 
rate Affairs— Prue  and  Throuet— Philadelphia  Physicians  Kill 
Each  Other — Dromgoole  and  Dugger  of  North  Carolina — Stuart 
and  Dade  of  Virginia — Jones  and  Anderson  of  Tennessee — 
Allston  and  Reed  and  Jones  and  Gronard  of  Florida — Gist  and 
Fair  of  Georgia — Lanusse  and  Marigny  of  Louisiana — Huger 
and  Rutledge  of  South  Carolina — The  First  Duel  in  Kentucky — 
How  Two  Prominent  Americans  Took  their  Positions  with 
Rifles  at  Sixty  Yards  on  Account  of  a  Quarrel  over  Twelve  and 
a  Half  Cents — Sullivan's  Sentiments — Comical  Termination  of 
a  Seriously  Commenced  Affair — No  Bloodshed  but  Plenty  of 
Whiskey— "All's  Well  that  Ends  Well  "—Two  Old  New  York 
Duels — The  Maryland  Duelling  Family  of  Wrights — Shooting  a 
Bunch  of  Keys  out  of  a  Man's  Pocket. 

THE  first  fatal  duel  in  (what  is  now)  the  United 
States  was  fought  on  the  Common,  in  Boston  (Massa- 
chusetts), between  Benjamin  Woodbridge  and  Henry 
Phillips,  on  the  evening  of  July  3, 1728.  These  young 
gentlemen  had  quarrelled  over  cards  at  the  Royal 
Exchange  Tavern,  in  King  Street  (now  State  Street), 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  259 

Boston;  and,  under  the  influence  of  strong  drink,  had 
agreed  to  settle  their  differences  with  their  swords  in 
the  public  grounds  above  named.  They  met  at  a 
little  after  eight  in  the  evening,  and  Woodbridge  was 
mortally  wounded,  and  was  found  dead  on  the  Com- 
mon upon  the  following  morning.  Both  were  gentle- 
men of  good  social  position.  Phillips  was  a  brother 
of  Gillam  Phillips,  who  had  married  Marie,  the  sister 
of  Peter  Faneuil,  the  builder  of  Boston's  famous 
hall.  The  visitor  at  the  metropolis  of  New  England 
while  passing  along  Tremont  Street  may  stop  at  the 
old  Granary  Burying  Ground,  between  the  Tremont 
House  and  Park  Street  Church,  and  read  upon  a 
plain  slate  stone  the  following: 

Here  Lyes  Interred  The  Body  of  Mr.  Benjamin  Wood- 
bridge,  Son  of  the  Honourable  Dudley  Woodbridge,  Esq., 
Who  Dec'd  July  ye  3d,  1728,  In  ye  2oth  Year  of  His  Age. 

In  other  words,  that  simple  slate  slab,  with  its  un- 
ostentatious inscription,  marks  the  mound  under 
which  were  deposited  the  remains  of  the  first  victim 
of  the  code  duello  in  the  English-speaking  portion  of 
America.  Requiescat  in  pace. 

In  1777  Hon.  Button  Gwinnett,  M.  C.  from  Geor- 
gia (a  signer  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence),  and 
Lackland  Mclntosh,  an  officer  in  the  army  of  the 
Revolution,  fought  with  pistols,  near  Savannah 
(Georgia),  and  both  were  wounded — Gwinnett  mor- 
tally. On  the  i3th  of  August,  1778,  Generals  Howe 
and  Gadsden  fought  a  duel  with  pistols,  in  Georgia, 
in  which  the  latter  was  slightly  wounded.  During 
the  same  year  Major-General  Charles  Lee  and  Colo- 
nel John  Laurens,  aide-de-camp  to  Washington, 
fought  with  pistols,  near  Philadelphia,  and  Lee  was 


260  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

wounded.  It  was  in  1778,  also,  that  General  Cadwal- 
lader  fought  and  dangerously  wounded  General  Con- 
way — both  of  the  Revolutionary  Army.  The  same 
year  Pierre  Landais  and  William  Cottineau,  Captains 
in  the  United  States  Navy,  fought  with  small  swords, 
in  Holland,  and  the  latter  was  severely  wounded.  In 
1819  Midshipmen  Cannon  and  Pierson,  of  the  United 
States  Navy,  met  with  pistols,  near  Havana,  and  the 
former  was  killed  at  the  first  fire.  In  1814  Edward 
Hopkins,  an  ensign  of  infantry,  was  killed  at  Bladens- 
burg.  Hopkins  was  a  native  of  Maryland,  and  was 
slain  within  sight  of  his  own  home. 

Samuel  C.  Bloomfield,  an  officer  of  the  army,  was 
killed  near  Weehawken  (New  Jersey),  in  1814. 

William  K.  Blue,  of  Virginia,  a  captain  of  infantry, 
was  killed  in  a  duel,  in  1802,  at  Fort  Washington 
(Ohio). 

In  1786,  in  South  Carolina,  Mr.  Ladd,  a  distin- 
guished surgeon,  was  killed  by  Mr.  Isaacs. 

Lieutenant  James  J.  Bowie,  U.  S.  A.,  was  killed  in 
a  duel  near  Lake  Pontchartrain,  in  1809. 

In  1808  Henry  Clay  and  Humphrey  Marshall — 
both  members  of  the  legislature  of  Kentucky  at  the 
time — met  near  Lexington,  with  pistols,  and  both 
were  touched  at  the  second  fire. 

In  1802  Barent  Gardenier,  M.  C.  from  the  Ulster 
district  of  New  York,  was  drawn  into  a  duel  with 
George  Washington  Campbell,  M.  C.  from  Tennessee 
(afterward  Minister  to  Russia),  and  the  two  gentle- 
men met  at  Bladensburg,  and  Garde-nier  was  danger- 
ously (it  was  thought  at  the  time  mortally)  wounded. 
Gardenier  was  a  favorite  with  the  Federalists  of  New 
York,  who  re-elected  him  after  his  recovery.  He 
edited  a  New  York  newspaper  a  number  of  years,  and 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  26 1 

died  at  Kingston  in  1822.  His  daughter  became  the 
wife  of  Theodore  Fay,  a  prominent  journalist.  While 
Campbell  was  Minister  to  Russia  a  daughter  was 
born  to  him,  whom  he  named  Leczinska,  and  who  be- 
came the  wife  of  General  Ewell,  a  distinguished  offi- 
cer of  the  Confederate  Army. 

In  1803,  apparently  a  combative  year,  in  Virginia, 
Wyndam  Grymes  challenged  Mr.  Terrell;  and,  in  the 
duel  (with  pistols)  which  followed,  Mr.  Grymes  was 
killed  at  the  second  fire.  In  1803,  in  Georgia,  Samuel 
Howard  was  dangerously  wounded  by  Joseph  Welcher 
at  the  first  fire.  In  1803,  in  Virginia,  James  Hughes 
was  killed  by  James  Tucker,  who  was  seriously 
wounded.  Paymaster  James,  U.  S.  A.,  was  killed 
near  Savannah,  in  1815.  In  1819  Lieutenant  Francis 
B.  White,  of  the  United  States  Marine  Corps,  and 
Lieutentant  William  B.  Finch,  of  the  Navy,  after  quite 
a  correspondence,  met  on  an  island  in  Boston  harbor, 
with  pistols,  and  White,  who  was  the  challenger,  was 
instantly  killed  at  the  first  fire.  In  1803,  in  the  Medi- 
terranean, Lieutenant  Osborn,  of  the  United  States 
Marine  Corps,  and  Lieutenant  Vandyke,  of  the  United 
States  Navy,  fought  with  pistols,  and  both  were  se- 
verely wounded  at  the  first  fire.  In  1786  Colonel 
Maurice  Simons,  who  had  given  offence  to  Major  Wil- 
liam Clay  Snipes  by  the  character  of  his  testimony  in 
a  court  of  justice,  was  challenged  by  the  latter  and 
killed.  Snipes  was  afterward  arrested  and  tried  on  a 
charge  of  murder,  but  was  convicted  of  manslaugh- 
ter. In  1794  Lieutenant  Huston  and  Ensign  Brad- 
shaw  fought  in  Pennsylvania,  near  Lake  Erie,  and 
both  were  killed.  In  1803  Dr.  James  Wyer  was  killed 
by  Surgeon  Sargent  at  Natchez  (Mississippi).  Also 
in  Mississippi,  in  1812,  Captain  John  Stewart,  U.  S.  A., 


262  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

by  Henry  Mason,  at  the  first  fire.  In  1810,  in  Missis- 
sippi, Lieutenant  Stephen  Rose,  U.  S.  A.,  was  killed. 
In  1809,  near  Carlisle  (Pennsylvania),  Cornet  Huxton 
Milton,  U.  S.  A.,  was  mortally  wounded.  In  1814,  near 
New  York,  Captain  Macomb,  U.  S.  A.,  was  killed  by  a 
brother  officer  at  the  first  fire.  In  1802,  at  Leghorn 
(Italy),  Captain  James  McKnight,  of  the  United 
States  Marine  Corps,  and  Lieutenant  Lawson,  of  the 
United  States  Navy,  fought  with  pistols,  and  the  for- 
mer was  killed.  In  1803  Lieutenant  Buck,  while  on 
duty  near  Natchez,  was  challenged  by  Thomas 
Moore,  of  that  city,  who  was  killed  at  the  first  shot, 
the  weapons  being  rifles,  distance  twelve  paces. 

In  1803,  at  Malta,  Midshipman  Joseph  Bainbridge, 
United  States  Navy,  after  having  been  rudely  and  pur- 
posely run  against  three  or  four  times  by  one  Coch- 
ran,  the  English  Secretary  at  Malta,  in  the  lobby  of 
the  theatre,  knocked  the  offender  down,  and  was 
challenged  the  same  night.  Bainbridge,  who  had 
never  fired  at  a  mark  in  his  life,  placed  the  matter  in 
the  hands  of  Stephen  Decatur — then  a  lieutenant  in 
the  American  Navy — who,  having  been  informed  that 
Cochran  had  been  practising  with  a  pistol  at  ten  or 
twelve  paces  for  weeks,  named  four  paces.  Cochran's 
second  objected,  saying  that  the  distance  was  simply 
murderous.  Decatur  admitted  the  fact,  but  declined 
to  modify  his  terms,  and  so  the  combatants  met,  and 
the  aggressive  Englishman  was  killed  at  the  second 
fire,  while  Bainbridge  escaped  unhurt.  A  similar  af- 
fair was  the  duel  at  Gibraltar,  in  1820,  between  Lieu- 
tenant Downing,  of  the  United  States  Navy,  and 
Lieutenant  Smith,  of  the  British  Army,  in  which 
Smith,  who  was  the  challenging  party,  was  killed. 

On  the   loth  of  October,  1777,  in   New  York,  Cap- 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  263 

tain  Pennington,  of  the  Coldstream  (Foot)  Guards, 
was  challenged  by  Captain  Tollemache,  of  the  Royal 
Navy,  for  writing  a  sonnet  reflecting  upon  the  wit  of 
the  wife  of  Captain  T.  The  combatants  first  used 
pistols,  without  damage  to  either,  and  then  fell  at 
each  other  with  swords — Tollemache  Toeing  killed  on 
on  the  spot  and  Pennington  sustaining  severe 
wounds.  In  1783  General  Coffin  and  Colonel  Camp- 
bell, also  officers  of  the  British  Army  during  the 
Revolution,  fought  in  New  York,  and  the  former  was 
seriously  wounded.  In  1781  Colonel  Stuart,  of  the 
British  Army,  and  Captain  John  Smith,  of  the  Ameri- 
can Army,  met  near  Guilford  (South  Carolina)  and 
fought  with  sabres;  and  Smith,  after  receiving  many 
wounds,  brought  his  weapon  down  furiously  upon 
his  adversary's  head,  cutting  it  open  down  to  the 
spine. 

In  1802  Hon.  De  Witt  Clinton  and  Hon.  John 
Swartwout,  of  New  York,  became  involved  in  the 
same  political  dispute  which  brought  on  the  duel 
between  Hamilton  and  Burr  between  two  and 
three  years  later,  and  met,  with  pistols,  near  the  city 
of  New  York,  and  exchanged  five  shots — the  fourth 
and  fifth  of  which  took  effect  upon  Mr.  Swartwout. 
Mr.  Clinton  then  declined  to  fight  further  or  to  make 
an  apology.  In  1879  a  correspondent  of  the  Phila- 
delphia Times  furnished  that  paper  with  the  following 
account  of  that  duel,  which  was  not  precisely  like  any 
other  meeting  ever  chronicled: 

It  is  a  notable  fact,  however,  that  the  most  determined  duel 
of  which  I  have  any  record  was  fought  in  New  York  State 
and  very  near  the  metropolis  of  that  name.  The  meeting 
was  between  De  Witt  Clinton  and  John  Swartwout,  in  1802. 
It  appears  probable  that  if  the  dispute  in  which  this  duel 


264  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

originated  had  taken  its  natural  course  the  most  famous 
duel  in  any  history — that  between  Hamilton  and  Burr — 
would  have  been  omitted.  Clinton  and  Burr  had  a  very 
fierce  and  truculent  political  dispute,  which  finally  became 
personal.  Before  it  had  fairly  come  to  an  issue  John 
Swartwout  became  involved  in  it,  taking  Burr's  place.  He 
challenged  Clinton,  who  accepted.  On  the  field  Clinton 
remarked  that  he  wished  he  had  the  principal  (Burr) 
before  him.  If  his  wish  had  been  gratified  there  is  little 
doubt  that  his  fatal  precision  of  shot  would  have  put  Burr 
where  he  could  not  have  killed  Hamilton  three  years  later. 
Mr.  Swartwout  insisted  that  he  should  have  an  apology,  and 
prepared  one  that  he  insisted  Mr.  Clinton  should  sign.  Mr. 
Clinton,  of  course,  declined,  and  the  parties  went  to  the 
field.  The  duel  was  such  a  remarkable  one  that  I  present 
an  account  given  by  Mr.  N.  S.  Smith,  who  was  Swartwout's 
second.  He  says :  The  gentlemen  took  positions  and  fired 
without  effect.  At  Mr.  Riker's  request,  I  asked  Mr.  Swart- 
wout if  he  was  satisfied.  He  answering  in  the  negative, 
the  second  shot  was  fired  without  effect.  I  again  asked  Mr. 
Swartwout  if  he  was  satisfied.  He  replied,  "  I  am  not,"  and 
the  third  shot  was  exchanged  without  injury.  I  then  asked 
Mr.  Swartwout,  "  Are  you  satisfied,  sir  ?"  He  replied,  "  I 
am  not,  neither  shall  I  be  until  the  apology  is  made  which 
I  have  demanded.  Until  then  we  must  proceed."  I  then 
presented  a  paper  to  Mr.  Riker  for  Mr.  Clinton's  signature, 
containing  the  apology  demanded,  observing  that  this  paper 
must  be  signed  or  we  would  proceed.  Mr.  Clinton  declared 
he  would  sign  no  paper  on  the  subject,  that  he  had  no  ani- 
mosity to  Mr.  Swartwout ;  and  would  willingly  shake  hands 
and  agree  to  meet  on  the  score  of  former  friendship.  Mr. 
Swartwout  insisted  on  the  signature  to  the  apology,  and  Mr. 
Clinton  declining,  they  stood  at  their  posts  and  fired  a  fourth 
shot.  Mr.  Swartwout  was  wounded  in  the  left  leg,  about 
five  inches  below  the  knee.  Being  asked  if  he  was  satisfied, 
Mr.  Swartwout  replied  :  "  It  is  useless  to  repeat  the  question. 
My  determination  is  fixed,  and  I  beg  we  may  proceed."  Mr. 
Clinton  repeated  that  he  had  no  animosity  against  Mr. 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  26$ 

Swartwout ;  was  sorry  for  what  had  passed ;  proposed  to 
advance,  shake  hands,  and  bury  the  past  in  oblivion.  Dur- 
ing the  conversation  the  surgeon,  kneeling  at  his  side, 
extracted  the  ball  from  Mr.  Swartwout's  leg.  The  fifth 
shot  being  fired,  Mr.  Swartwout  received  a  ball  in  the  left 
leg,  about  five  inches  above  the  ankle,  still,  however,  stand- 
ing at  his  post  perfectly  composed.  At  the  request  of  Mr. 
Riker  I  asked  :  "Are  you  satisfied  ?"  He  forcibly  answered  : 
"  No,  sir ;  I  am  not.  Proceed."  Mr.  Clinton  then  quit  his 
post,  declining  the  combat,  and  declared  that  he  would  fire 
no  more.  Mr.  Swartwout  expressed  himself  surprised  that 
Mr.  Clinton  would  neither  apologize  nor  give  the  satisfaction 
required,  and  addressing  me,  said  :  "  What  shall  I  do,  my 
friend  ?"  I  answered :  "  Mr.  Clinton  declines  making  the 
apology  required,  refuses  taking  his  position,  and  positively 
declares  he  will  fight  no  more.  His  second  appearing  to 
acquiesce  in  the  disposition  of  his  principal,  there  is  nothing 
further  for  you  to  do  now  but  to  have  your  wounds  dressed." 
The  surgeons  attending  dressed  his  wounds,  and  the  gentle- 
men returned  in  their  respective  barges  to  the  city. 

One  of  the  most  distressing  among  the  early  Ameri- 
can "  affairs  of  honor"  was  that  in  which  Philip  Hamil- 
ton (eldest  son  of  General  Alexander  Hamilton — who 
was  killed  by  Aaron  Burr  some  thirty  months  later) 
lost  his  life.  This  young  gentleman  was  only  eighteen 
years  of  age;  had  just  graduated  from  Columbia  Col- 
lege with  high  honor,  and  was  a  lad  of  great  promise. 
He  was  a  favorite  with  all  with  whom  he  came  in  con- 
tact, and  to  a  remarkable  degree  mirrored  the  brilliant 
talents,  elevated  ambition,  and  arrogant  temper  of  his 
distinguished  parent.  On  the  4th  of  July,  1801,  Philip 
stood  and  listened  to  an  orator  who  hurled  severe  in- 
vective at  his  father.  A  short  time  afterward  young 
Hamilton  and  a  friend  occupied  a  box  at  a  theatre; 
and  in  an  adjoining  compartment  sat  G.  J.  Eaker — 


266  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

the  orator  alluded  to.  Hamilton  and  his  companion 
at  once  let  fly  furious  and  incessant  shafts  of  ridicule 
of  Eaker's  Independence  Day  pyrotechnics,  and  were 
at  last  summoned  to  the  lobby,  where  Eaker  met 
them,  and,  applying  an  insulting  epithet  to  Hamilton 
and  his  friend,  seized  the  former  by  the  nape  of  the 
neck  and  rushed  him  out  into  the  street.  Hamilton's 
friend  sent  Eaker  a  challenge  the  following  day,  a 
duel  took  place  and  four  shots  were  exchanged  with- 
out injury  to  either.  This  termination  of  the  affair 
was  so  unsatisfactory  to  Philip  Hamilton  that  he  re- 
opened the  controversy  by  sending  Eaker  a  challenge, 
which  was  at  once  accepted.  The  combatants  met  on 
January  10,  1802,  at  Weehawken  (N.  J.),  and  fought 
with  pistols  at  twelve  paces — Hamilton  receiving  his 
antagonist's  bullet  in  a  vital  part,  from  which  he  died 
after  an  excessive  agony  of  twenty  hours.  General 
Hamilton,  when  apprised  of  the  place  of  meeting, 
hurried  forward  to  prevent  it,  but  fainted  on  the  way. 
On  the  6th  of  February,  1819,  Bladensburg,  Md., — 
already  the  locus  in  quo  of  belligerent  meetings — was 
made  additionally  famous  by  the  desperate  encounter, 
with  muskets,  of  General  Armistead  T.  Mason  and 
Colonel  John  M.  McCarty  (cousins),  both  of  Virginia. 
The  two  gentlemen  had  quarrelled  at  an  election,  out 
of  which  grew  a  challenge  from  McCarty  to  Mason, 
who  was  a  United  States  Senator  from  Virginia  at  the 
time.  The  former,  having  substantially  prescribed 
terms  and  conditions  and  method  of  arrangement, 
met  with  refusal,  although  Mason,  in  his  letter  of  de- 
clension, intimated  that  he  would  accept  a  challenge 
written  and  sent  in  proper  form.  McCarty  then 
"  posted"  Mason  as  a  coward,  and  was  quickly  chal- 
lenged by  the  latter,  and  declined  on  the  ground  that 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  267 

the  challenger  was  wanting  in  courage  and  did  not 
"mean  business."  Here  the  matter  ended  for  some 
time,  when  General  Jackson  came  upon  the  scene,  and 
it  was  unexpectedly  reopened  by  Mason  sending 
McCarty  a  challenge,  which  the  latter  declined  by 
proposing  that  he  would  submit  to  one  of  three 
things,  namely:  either  that  they  should  leap  together 
from  the  dome  of  the  Capitol,  fight  together  on  a 
barrel  of  powder,  or  meet  in  a  hand-to-hand  encounter 
with  dirks.  It  was  at  last  arranged  that  they  should 
meet  with  shotguns,  each  loaded  with  a  single  ball, 
at  four  paces.  When  they  were  placed  in  position 
the  muzzles  of  their  weapons  nearly  touched  ;  and  at 
the  word  of  command  both  fired  together,  and  Mason 
fell  dead  and  McCarty  was  seriously  wounded.  Mason 
was  a  member  of  that  distinguished  Virginia  family 
to  which  belonged  James  Mason,  the  Senator,  and 
James  Y.  Mason,  the  Minister  of  the  Confederate 
Government  to  France,  who  was  taken  from  an  English 
ship  by  Commodore  Wilkes  during  the  first  year  of 
the  War  of  the  Rebellion. 

In  New  Orleans,  many  years  ago,  two  Frenchmen 
named  Pauline  Prue  and  Hippolyte  Throuet  fought 
by  being  placed  back  to  back,  at  five  paces,  with  in- 
structions to  turn  at  the  given  word  and  fire  at  will. 
They  both  turned  at  the  word  ;  and,  though  Prue's 
weapon  was  discharged  accidentally,  Throuet  took 
deliberate  aim  and  shot  his  antagonist  through  the 
heart.  A  most  sanguinary  encounter  took  place  in 
Philadelphia  in  June,  1830,  between  two  physicians 
named  Jeffries  and  Smith.  They  had  arranged  to 
meet  with  pistols,  at  eight  paces  ;  and,  at  the  first 
shot,  both  missed  ;  but  at  the  second  Smith  had  his 
left  arm  shattered.  The  wounded  man  then  de- 


268  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

manded  another  shot,  and  this  time  Jeffries  received 
Smith's  bullet  in  the  thigh.  At  the  fourth  fire  both 
fell  mortally  wounded  and  died  upon  the  field.  When 
Jeffries  was  informed  that  Smith  had  expired,  he  said  : 
"Well,  I  am  willing  to  die,  too."  And  he  never  spoke 
afterward.  In  1837,  in  North  Carolina,  Hon.  G.  C. 
Dromgoole,  M.  C.,  and  Mr.  Dugger  fought  with  pis- 
tols, at  four  paces,  and  the  latter  was  mortally  wounded 
at  the  first  fire.  In  May,  1820,  Richard  Stuart  and 
Townsend  S.  Dade  (relatives),  of  King  George  County 
(Virginia),  met  with  double-barrelled  shotguns 
loaded  with  buckshot.  Each  received  the  other's  fire 
— Dade  falling  dead  and  Stuart  receiving  a  wound 
from  which  he  died  upon  the  following  day. 

In  1837,  in  Tennessee,  Richard  M.  Jones  and  Henry 
W.  Anderson  met  in  murderous  combat  with  pistols, 
at  four  feet,  in  which  Jones  was  shot  dead  ;  the  bullet 
from  the  weapon  of  the  latter  lodging  in  the  muzzle 
of  Anderson's  pistol.  In  1823,  in  Virginia,  Colonel 
Richard  Graves  sent  a  cartel  of  defiance  to  Captain 
Lacy,  and  proposed  that  two  cups  should  be  filled — 
one  with  deadly  poison  and  the  other  with  pure  water 
— and  that  they  should  draw  lots  to  determine  which 
one  should  drink  the  poison;  and  that  the  one  who 
should  draw  the  blank  should  have  the  choice  of  cups 
and  swallow  the  contents  of  the  one  selected  ;  and  that 
the  other,  who  must  draw  the  letter  P,  should  be 
bound  upon  his  honor  to  swallow  the  contents  of  the 
remaining  cup.  Lacy  replied  that  he  would  fight 
Graves  like  a  gentleman,  but  declined  to  drink  poison 
to  accommodate  any  one.  Graves  then  renewed  his 
challenge  and  proposed  that  they  fight  with  knives, 
whereupon  he  was  arrested  and  afterward  tried  for 
his  atrocious  conduct,  but  acquitted. 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  269 

In  1852,  in  Florida,  Colonel  Gronard  and  Major 
Jones  met  with  bowie  knives,  and  after  a  desperate 
encounter  in  which  both  were  horribly  cut,  Jones  was 
killed.  In  1839,  at  Tallahassee  (Florida),  Major  All- 
ston  challenged  General  Reed  and  was  killed.  Willis 
Allston,  a  brother  of  the  deceased,  then  killed  Reed 
and  fled  the  State.  On  the  loth  of  December,  1841, 
near  Brazoria  (Texas),  the  latter  got  into  an  alterca- 
tion with  Dr.  John  Stuart  and  killed  him,  at  which 
a  party  of  vigilantes  "  took  out"  Allston  and  perfo- 
rated him  with  bullets.  In  1832,  in  Georgia,  two 
young  men  named  Gist  and  Fair  met  with  pistols, 
and  the  latter  was  killed.  Three  of  Gist's  brothers 
were  in  attendance  with  pistols  and  shotguns,  pre- 
sumably to  see  fair  play.  In  1830,  at  New  Orleans, 
Mr.  Lanusse  and  Mr.  Marigny  met  with  swords  and 
pistols,  and  after  firing  at  each  other  twice,  fell  to 
with  their  swords,  during  which  both  were  many  times 
desperately  wounded,  Marigny  dying  while  being 
conveyed  from  the  field.  In  1853,  in  the  same  city, 
two  men  named  Scott  and  Travis  fought  with  bowie 
knives,  and  both  were  desperately  wounded,  Scott 
dying  from  the  effects  of  his  injuries  some  months 
afterward. 

Judge  Huger,  of  South  Carolina,  once  challenged 
Major  Rutledge  (his  brother-in-law),  to  the  great  sur- 
prise of  the  latter,  who,  being  an  officer  of  conspicuous 
honor  and  courage,  felt  the  necessity  of  accepting  the 
challenge  ;  but  inquired  of  Mr.  Loundes,  who  bore 
the  challenge,  what  offence  he  had  given.  Mr. 
Loundes,  however,  although  an  intimate  friend  of  the 
challenging  party,  declared  that  he  had  no  knowledge 
whatever  of  the  cause  of  the  hostile  message.  The 
duel  took  place,  nevertheless,  and  Major  Rutledge 


2/O  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

was  wounded,  although  no  one  could  ever  tell  what 
was  the   cause  of  the  hostile  affair. 

The  Southern  Bivouac,  early  in  1884,  presented  its 
readers  with  the  following  graphic  description  of  the 
first  duel  (so  called)  in  Kentucky: 

Previous  to  the  separation  of  Kentucky  from  Virginia 
there  were  hostile  meetings  between  her  citizens,  but  the 
combatants  were  usually  plain  pioneers,  who,  knowing  little 
and  caring  less  about  the  code,  settled  their  difficulties  with 
the  weapons  with  which  nature  had  armed  them.  They 
battered  and  bruised  with  fists  and  feet,  gouged  out  eyes 
with  their  thumbs,  and  bit  off  ears  and  noses  with  their 
teeth,  and  thus  inflicted  injuries  which  the  chivalry  of  a 
later  day  pronounced  worse  than  the  effects  of  the  fatal 
steel  and  deadly  lead.  The  first  duel  a  la  mode  in  the  State 
of  Kentucky  was  arranged  at  Louisville  in  1792,  and  luckily 
for  all  concerned,  had  a  comic  instead  of  a  tragic  termina- 
tion. The  principals  and  seconds  were  among  the  most 
prominent  citizens  of  that  period,  whose  descendants  are 
yet  in  our  midst,  occupying  the  highest  social  positions. 
John  Thurston,  a  son  of  the  celebrated  fighting  parson  of 
Virginia,  who  at  the  beginning  of  the  War  of  Independence 
laid  aside  his  sacerdotal  gown,  put  on  the  uniform  of  the 
rebellion,  raised  a  company  and  led  it  against  the  British, 
was  the  challenging  party.  John  Harrison,  a  member  of 
that  distinguished  family  which  gave  a  Governor  to  Virginia 
and  a  President  to  the  United  States,  who  went  into  the 
Revolutionary  war  a  private  and  by  brave  deeds  came  out  a 
Major,  was  the  challenged  party.  Robert  Breckinridge,  a 
member  of  the  convention  which  framed  our  first  Constitu- 
tion and  sat  as  the  first  Speaker  of  our  House  of  Represen- 
tatives, was  the  second  of  Thurston,  and  Jacobus  Sullivan,  a 
fearless  pioneer,  who  would  at  any  time  avoid  a  good  dinner 
for  what  he  called  a  good  fight,  was  the  second  of  Harrison. 
In  those  early  days  the  best  citizens  of  each  county  were 
commissioned  by  the  Governors  as  Justices  of  the  Peace. 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  2/1 

Thurston  and  Harrison  had  both  held  this  office  under 
Governor  Randolph  of  Virginia,  and  as  soon  as  Governor 
Shelby  was  seated  in  the  Gubernatorial  chair  of  Kentucky 
he  recommissioned  them  for  Jefferson  county.  It  was  not 
long  after  'Squire  Thurston  opened  his  office  in  the  new 
State  before  he  was  called  upon  to  try  an  issue  between  two 
of  his  neighbors.  It  was  Thurston's  first  case  under  his  new 
commission,  and  he  saw  in  it  the  elements  of  a  family  quar.-- 
rel,  which  indicated  that  no  matter  what  judgment  he 
might  render  one  of  his  neighbors  would  be  dissatisfied. 
He  therefore  issued  the  warrant  and  made  it  returnable 
before  'Squire  Harrison  for  trial.  Harrison,  in  trying  the 
case,  discovered  that  it  was  based  on  family  differences  that 
ought  to  be  adjusted,  and  as  it  was  his  first  case  also  in  the 
new  State,  he  took  particular  pains  to  reconcile  the  parties. 
He  succeeded  in  bringing  the  parties  to  a  better  understand- 
ing, rendered  a  judgment  satisfactory  to  both,  and,  being 
pleased  with  his  own  work,  charged  no  fees.  Soon  after  the 
trial  was  over  Thurston  called  on  Harrison  for  the  twelve  and 
a  half  cents  allowed  him  by  law  for  issuing  the  original  warrant 
in  the  case.  Harrison  told  him  he  had  charged  no  fees  in  the 
case  and  had  not  collected  the  twelve  and  a  half  cents.  Thurs- 
ton replied  that  while  it  was  Harrison's  unquestioned  right  to 
charge  nothing  for  his  own  services,  yet  that  right  did  not 
extend  to  the  remission  of  the  fees  of  another  for  services 
rendered.  Harrison  admitted  that  this  was  true,  but  said 
that  if  he  were  to  pay  the  twelve  and  a  half  cents  it  would 
have  to  come  out  of  his  own  pocket,  and  this  he  did  not 
intend  should  be  done.  One  word  brought  on  another  until 
a  quarrel  ensued,  and  epithets  were  exchanged  that  were 
easier  spoken  than  borne.  They  separated  full  of  wrath, 
with  mutual  assurances  that  each  might  expect  to  hear 
further  from  the  other.  Thurston  hurried  from  the  scene, 
sent  for  his  friend  Breckinridge,  detailed  the  occurrence  at 
Harrison's  office,  and,  without  asking  the  advice  of  his 
friend  as  to  what  should  be  done,  handed  him  a  peremptory 
challenge  with  a  request  that  he  bear  it  immediately  to 
Harrison.  Breckinridge  did  not  like  the  lightning  speed 


2/2  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

with  which  things  were  starting  off,  but  in  a  kind  of  me- 
chanical mode  bore  away  the  hostile  note,  and  before  the 
sun  of  the  same  day  was  set  handed  it  to  Harrison.  What 
Harrison  might  have  done  if  a  little  more  time  had  been 
allowed  does  not  appear,  but  it  is  possible  if  he  had  not 
received  a  challenge  he  would  have  sent  one.  As  soon  as 
Harrison  received  Thurston's  note  he  accepted  its  terms, 
and  named  rifles  at  sixty  yards  as  the  weapons  and  distance. 
Then  summoning  his  friend  Sullivan  to  his  aid  he  directed 
him  without  delay  to  arrange  with  Breckinridge  the  time 
and  place  of  meeting.  Here  Sullivan,  like  Breckinridge, 
was  hurried  along  with  a  rapidity  he  did  not  fancy,  but 
knew  not  how  to  avoid.  The  seconds  got  together  the 
night  of  the  same  day  of  the  difficulty,  and  arranged  for  the 
hostile  meeting  the  next  afternoon  at  a  small  opening  in 
the  woods  back  of  the  present  Broadway.  When  the  place 
of  meeting  was  reached  at  the  appointed  time  sixty  yards 
were  stepped  off  by  the  seconds  and  the  positions  of  the 
principals  designated.  The  rifles  were  then  loaded  by  the 
seconds — Breckinridge  loading  one  and  handing  it  to  Sulli- 
van for  Harrison,  and  Sullivan  loading  the  other  and  hand- 
ing it  to  Breckinridge  for  Thurston.  Everything  was 
conducted  with  the  scrupulous  courtesy  indicative  of  the 
ball-room  rather  than  the  duelling-field ;  and  no  one  would 
have  inferred  from  the  countenances  of  Thurston  and 
Harrison  that  anything  involving  life  was  in  contemplation. 
The  principals  having  been  placed  in  position  and  their 
rifles  handed  them,  the  seconds  tossed  a  dollar  for  the  word. 
Breckinridge  won ;  but  instead  of  turning  at  once  to  the 
principals  and  giving  the  word,  he  asked  Sullivan  what  he 
thought  of  the  affair,  anyhow.  Sullivan  answered  that  the 
movements  had  been  so  rapid  that  he  had  had  no  time  to 
think  at  all,  and  in  turn  asked  Breckinridge  what  he  thought. 
Breckinridge  replied  that  he  did  not  like  the  appearance  of 
things,  and  feared  that  the  world  might  misinterpret  the 
facts  and  assume  that  two  prominent  citizens  had  been 
hurried  into  a  duel  about  twelve  and  a  half  cents.  Sullivan 
admitted  that  such  might  be  public  opinion,  and  added  that 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  2/3 

if  the  duel  should  prove  fatal  it  would  be  too  bad  for  the 
world  to  say  two  such  citizens  had  slain  one  another  for  a 
ninepence.  The  seconds,  therefore,  agreed  to  call  the  prin- 
cipals together  and  try  to  reconcile  them.  When  they  got 
together  Breckinridge,  in  an  earnest  and  feeling  manner, 
stated  that  he  and  Sullivan  had  just  talked  the  matter  over, 
and  were  agreed  that  the  meeting  had  been  unwisely  hurried 
too  far  without  the  advice  of  friends,  chosen  for  the  purpose, 
having  been  either  asked  or  given  ;  that  the  fact  of  the  diffi- 
culty having  arisen  out  of  the  twelve  and  a  half  cents  allowed 
a  magistrate  for  issuing  a  warrant  would  lead  many  to  say, 
no  matter  how  unjustly,  that  the  duel  was  fought  for  that 
paltry  sum,  and  that  such  a  reputation  would  be  intolerable 
for  men  in  their  positions.  He  reminded  them  that  they 
were  both  heads  of  families  and  civil  officers,  with  other 
claims  than  their  own  upon  their  lives  and  reputations  ;  that 
although  the  affair  had  been  too  rapidly  conducted  to  allow 
hot  blood  to  cool,  there  was  yet  time  for  reason  to  resume 
her  sway  over  passion;  and  then  besought  them  as  old 
friends,  with  but  a  single  jar  in  a  life  of  unusual  smoothness, 
to  forget  and  forgive  a  single  offence,  and  act  toward  one 
another  as  if  nothing  to  ruffle  their  former  feelings  had 
occurred.  If  there  was  any  hesitation  in  the  minds  of  the 
principals  as  to  the  propriety  of  a  reconciliation,  after  these 
manly  words  of  Breckinridge,  it  was  not  increased  by  the 
unexpected  speech  and  queer  proposition  of  Sullivan  which 
followed.  As  soon  as  Breckinridge  had  ceased,  Sullivan, 
without  waiting  to  hear  what  Harrison  or  Thurston  might 
say,  spoke  as  follows :  "  Fellow-citizens,  them's  my  senti- 
ments !  It  won't  do  for  this  fight  to  go  on  !  The  Bargrass 
people,  whar  'Squire  Thurston  lives,  will  swar  he  fit  for 
twelve  an'  a  half  cents;  and  them  bad  town  boys,  where 
'Squire  Harrison  lives,  when  he  runs  them  out  of  his  water- 
million  patch,  will  call  him  an 'old  fightin'  ninepence.'  I 
like  a  good  fight  better  than  a  hot  toddy  of  a  cold  night, 
but  I  hate  a  bad  fight  worse  than  a  nest  of  yaller-jackets. 
There  ain't  no  good  in  this  fight,  nohow.  I  don't  like  the 
weepons,  nuther.  Rifles  is  all  right  for  Injuns  and  bars,  but 


274  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

they  are  awful  things  turned  agin  friends.  If  you  had 
painted  yer  eyes  black  with  yer  fists,  or  even  doubled  one 
another  up  by  kicks  in  the  belly,  when  you  quarrelled,  it 
would  have  been  reg'lar,  but  to  go  to  borin'  holes  through 
one  another  with  rifle  balls,  like  augers  through  poplar 
logs,  won't  do  at  all.  The  commandment  of  the  Scripter 
says:  'Thou  shalt  not  kill,' but  it  don't  say  thou  s halt  not 
hit  with  the  fist  and  kick  with  the  foot  when  a  feller  makes 
you  mad.  I  propose,  tharfour,  that  we  wind  up  this  fight 
with  a  shootin'-match  for  a  gallon  of  whiskey.  Our  side  agin 
your  side  will  shoot  at  a  tree  the  size  of  a  man,  sixty  yards, 
at  the  word,  and  the  shot  nearest  the  .centre  wins."  As  soon 
as  Sullivan  finished  his  speech,  Thurston  and  Harrison,  who 
had  both  been  compelled  to  laugh  at  its  oddity,  simulta- 
neously extended  to  one  another  the  right  hand.  A  hearty 
shake  followed  and  the  difficulty  was  all  over.  Nothing 
now  remained  to  be  done  on  the  ground  but  to  have  the 
shooting-match  proposed  by  Sullivan.  A  beech,  about 
the  size  of  a  man,  was  selected,  at  sixty  yards,  and  Thurston 
made  the  first  shot.  The  tree  was  hit  on  the  left  side,  and 
Harrison  acknowledged  that,  if  he  had  been  there,  he  should 
have  had  a  stitch  in  the  side.  Harrison  shot  next  and  hit 
the  tree  in  the  centre.  Thurston  now  acknowledged  that  if 
he  had  been  there  he  should  have  had  a  stomach-ache. 
Breckinridge  shot  next,  and  hit  midway  between  the  shots 
of  Thurston  and  Harrison.  All  now  agreed  that  this  was 
the  shot  of  a  mediator,  and  that  it  was  in  its  proper  place, 
midway  between  the  other  two.  Last  of  all,  Sullivan  shot, 
and  missed  the  tree.  A  hearty  laugh  followed  at  the  ex- 
pense of  Sullivan,  but  he  said  he  imagined  the  tree  to  be  a 
man  shooting  at  him,  and  suggested  that  if  the  others  had 
shot  at  men  shooting  at  them  their  shots  might  have  been 
different.  The  ball  of  Harrison  having  hit  the  centre,  it 
was  decided  that  Thurston  and  Breckinridge  must  pay  for 
the  liquor.  Off  all  started  in  high  good  humor  for  the 
grocery  store  of  Charles  Nabb  to  get  the  whiskey.  A  gallon 
was  measured  into  a  stone  jug,  and  after  all  had  taken  a 
friendly  glass  the  balance  was  voted  to  Sullivan  for  his 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  2?$ 

remarkable  speech  and  shot.  Sullivan  bore  off  the  jug  in 
triumph,  and  would  often  have  gone  through  the  same  scene 
for  such  a  reward.  Thurston  and  Harrison  were  the  good 
friends  in  after  life  that  they  had  been  before,  and  both  of 
them  often  told  and  joked  of  the  intended  serious  meeting 
that  ended  so  comically. 

A  New  York  paper  gives  the  following  account  of 
a  singular  and  fatal  duel  which  was  fought  many 
years  ago  in  New  York  by  the  late  Stephen  Price,  well 
known  in  England  as  a  former  lessee  of  Drury  Lane 
Theatre: 

Benjamin  Price  was  considered  the  handsomest  of  his 
family,  though  his  brother  Stephen  was  not  to  be  despised, 
either  as  regards  good  looks  or  abilities.  Benjamin  one 
evening  had  escorted  a  very  pretty  woman  to  the  Park 
Theatre,  when,  during  the  performance,  a  British  offi- 
cer in  an  adjoining  box  took  the  liberty  of  staring  her 
full  in  the  face.  She  complained  of  it  to  Ben  Price,  who, 
on  its  repetition,  seized  the  offender  by  the  nose  with  "  his 
finger  and  thumb  and  wrung  it  most  effectually."  The  offi- 
cer left  his  box  and  went  to  Ben  Price's.  Ben  in  answer  to 
a  knock  opened  the  door,  when  the  officer,  whose  name  was 
Green,  asked  Ben  what  he  meant,  remarking  at  the  same 
time  that  he  meant  no  insult  to  the  lady.  "  Oh  !  very  well," 
replied  Ben,  "  neither  did  I  mean  to  insult  you  by  what  I 
did."  Upon  this  they  shook  hands  as  sworn  brothers,  and 
some  time  afterward  Mr.  Green  went  to  Canada  to  join  his 
regiment.  The  facts  of  the  affair,  however,  reached  Canada 
before  Mr.  Green  did,  and  of  course  got  noised  about.  An 
officer  of  his  regiment  having  a  pique  against  him  was  par- 
ticularly active  in  airing  the  scandal,  and  brought  the  matter 
so  strongly  before  his  brother  officers  that  one  of  them,  a 
Captain  Wilson,  insisted  upon  Green  being  ostracized  unless 
he  went  back  to  New  York  immediately  and  challenged 
Price.  Green,  however,  being  no  shot,  he  was  allowed  time 
to  get  up  his  pistol  practice  to  a  favorable  standard,  and 


276  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 

having  practised  for  five  hours  daily,  until  he  could  hit  a 
dollar  at  ten  paces  nine  times  out  of  ten,  then  he  came  to 
New  York  and  challenged  Ben  Price.  They  fought  at 
Hoboken,  Price  being  killed  at  the  first  fire.  The  seconds 
immediately  decamped,  while  Green,  who  had  obtained 
leave  to  go  to  England  on  urgent  private  affairs,  took  a 
small  boat,  crossed  the  river,  and  got  on  board  a  vessel  in 
the  bay  ready  to  sail  for  the  old  country.  Price's  body  was 
found  where  he  had  fallen,  with  a  piece  of  paper  attached  to 
the  breast,  on  which  were  written  the  following  words : 
*'  This  is  Benjamin  Price,  boarding  in  Vesey  Street,  New 
York;  take  care  of  him."  The  body  was  brought  to  the 
city  quietly,  and  he  was  buried  in  New  York.  The  death  of 
Ben  Price  was,  however,  but  one-half  of  the  tragic  transac- 
tion that  resulted  from  the  pulling  of  Mr.  Green's  nose. 
Some  years  later  Captain  Wilson,  who  has  been  already  re- 
ferred to,  arrived  in  New  York  from  England  on  his  way  to 
Canada,  and  put  up  at  the  Washington  Hotel.  There  one 
day  at  dinner  the  conversation  turned  on  the  death  of  Ben 
Price  and  the  manner  thereof,  when  Captain  Wilson,  who 
had  joined  in  the  conversation,  took  credit  for  having  been 
mainly  instrumental  in  bringing  about  the  duel,  detailing  all 
the  particulars  connected  therewith.  This  statement  was 
carried  immediately  to  Stephen  Price,  who  was  lying  ill  of 
the  gout  at  home.  His  friends  said  that  he  at  once  implic- 
itly obeyed  the  instructions  of  the  physician,  and,  obtaining 
thereby  a  short  cessation  of  the  gout,  was  enabled  to  hobble 
out  of  doors,  his  lower  extremities  being  swathed  in  flannel. 
His  first  course  was  to  seek  the  Washington  Hotel,  where 
his  inquiry  was  :  "  Is  Captain  Wilson  within  ?"  "  He  is," 
said  the  waiter.  "Show  me  up  to  his  room,"  said  Stephen, 
and  up  he  was  shown  accordingly.  Hobbling  up-stairs  with 
much  difficulty,  cursing  alternately  as  he  went  the  gout 
which  caused  the  pain  and  the  Captain  who  was  the  cause 
of  his  having  to  hobble  with  equal  vehemence,  he  at  last 
reached  Captain  Wilson's  room,  his  feet  cased  in  moccasins 
and  his  hand  grasping  a  stick.  Captain  Wilson  rose  to  re- 
ceive him,  wondering  all  the  time  who  his  lame  visitor  could 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS. 

be,  but  his  mind  on  that  point  was  soon  relieved.  "  Are 
you  Captain  Wilson?"  said  the  stranger.  "That  is  my 
name,"  replied  the  Captain.  "Then,  sir,  my  name  is 
Stephen  Price.  You  see,  sir,  I  can  scarcely  put  one  foot  be- 
fore the  other ;  I  am  afflicted  with  the  gout.  My  object  in 
coming  here  is  to  insult  you.  Shall  I  have  to  knock  you 
down,  or  will  you  consider  what  I  have  said  a  sufficient  in- 
sult to  act  accordingly?"  "  No,  sir,"  replied  the  Captain, 
smiling;  "I  shall  consider  what  you  have  said  quite  suffi- 
cient, and  shall  act  accordingly.  You  shall  hear  from  me." 
In  due  time  there  came  a  message  from  Captain  Wilson  to 
Stephen  Price ;  time,  place,  and  weapons  were  arranged ; 
and  early  one  morning  a  boat  left  New  York  in  which  were 
seated  face  to  face  Stephen  Price,  the  Captain,  and  two 
friends.  They  all  landed  at  Bedloe's  Island,  the  principals 
took  their  positions,  and  Captain  Wilson  fell  dead  at  the 
first  shot.  The  Captain's  body  was  interred  in  the  vault 
there,  and  Price  and  the  two  seconds  returned  to  New 
York.  Captain  Wilson's  friends  in  America  thought  he  had 
departed  suddenly  to  Canada,  and  his  friends  in  England 
thought  he  had  either  died  suddenly  or  had  been  killed  in  a 
duel  on  his  way  to  join  his  regiment. 

The  Baltimore  Sun  of  April  23,  1884,  tells  the  fol- 
lowing interesting  story  of  a  duelling  family: 

Dr.  Robert  Wright,  whose  death  at  Centreville,  Md.,  in 
his  eighty-seventh  year,  was  announced  yesterday,  was  the 
son  of  Solomon  Wright,  who  was  a  judge  of  the  Maryland 
Court  of  Appeals  from  1778  to  1801,  and  the  grandson  of 
Solomon  Wright,  who  was  a  distinguished  lawyer,  and 
represented  Queen  Anne  County  in  the  Provincial  Assem- 
bly as  far  back  as  1709-11.  One  of  Dr.  Wright's  uncles  was 
Robert  Wright,  for  whom  he  was  named,  one  of  the  most 
successful  politicians  that  the  Eastern  Shore  has  ever  pro- 
duced. He  was  successively  a  member  of  the  House  of 
Delegates,  the  State  Senate,  the  United  States  House  of 
Representatives,  and  the  United  States  Senate.  In  1806  he 


278  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

was  elected  Governor  of  Maryland,  and  at  the  time  of  his 
death,  in  1827,  was  a  judge  in  the  judicial  circuit  compris- 
ing his  native  county.  Dr.  Wright  was  a  gentleman  of 
varied  information,  and  a  mine  of  interesting  reminisences 
about  men  and  affairs  in  his  section  of  the  State.  Just  a 
year  ago  he  wrote  and  published  an  interesting  sketch  of 
his  family.  In  this  he  stated  that  some  of  the  Wrights  had 
a  marked  propensity  for  duelling,  and  narrated  the  following 
anecdotes  concerning  those  of  his  relatives  who  became  in- 
volved in  affairs  of  honor :  "  Gov.  Robert  Wright  fought  a 
duel  with  Gen.  Lloyd,  the  former  being  shot  in  the  wrist, 
which  ended  the  matter.  Robert,  son  of  the  Governor, 
fought  with  Alexander  Stuart,  and  was  shot  in  the  shoulder. 
Gustavus  fought  with  Benjamin  Nicholson.  They  both  ex- 
pected to  be  killed,  and  it  is  marvellous  how  they  escaped 
death,  as  each  had  two  shots  and  were  only  stationed  six  to 
eight  feet  apart.  At  the  first  shot  Nicholson  was  shot  in 
the  hand,  and  at  the  second  in  the  side.  The  wound  being 
considered  mortal  ended  the  matter.  Nicholson,  as  brave  a 
man  as  ever  lived,  recovered,  and  was  aide  to  Gen.  Z.  Pike, 
and,  with  Pike  and  his  whole  command,  was  blown  up  and 
killed  at  Little  York,  now  called  Toronto,  Canada,  in  the 
war  of  1812.  Mr.  Wright  also  had  a  duel  with  Capt.  Wat- 
son, whom  he  killed.  Clinton  had  a  duel  with  Lieut. 
Jarman ;  they  had  two  shots.  At  the  second  shot  Wright 
was  wounded  in  the  arm.  He  afterward  fought  a  duel  with 
Major  Hook.  Wright  was  shot  down  at  the  first  shot,  and, 
being  unable  to  stand,  proposed  to  Hook  to  lie  side  by  side 
and  take  another  shot.  To  this  both  Hook  and  his  second 
objected,  and  very  properly,  but  said  if  they  could  make 
Mr.  Wright  stand  they  would  give  him  another  exchange 
of  shots.  Wright  put  his  hand  in  his  pocket,  and  drawing 
out  an  old  bandana  handkerchief,  gave  it  to  his  second,  tell- 
ing him  to  pass  it  under  his  arms  and  draw  him  up  to  the 
limb  of  a  small  tree  close  by.  This  being  done,  they  had 
another  exchange  of  shots,  when  Hook  received  what  was 
supposed  to  be  a  mortal  wound,  but  both  he  and  Wright 
recovered.  Henry  R.  Pratt  (who  married  one  of  the 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  279 

Wrights)  had  a  duel  with  William  Elbert.  He  shot  a  bunch 
of  keys  out  of  Elbert's  pantaloons  pocket,  and,  both  being 
thereby  satisfied,  kissed  and  made  up.  They  afterward 
became  and  continued  fast  friends.  Another  one  of  the 
family  was  on  the  eve  of  a  duel  with  Cadet  Lindsey,  of 
Philadelphia,  but  a  timely  apology  from  Lindsey  put  a  stop 
to  it.  By  way  of  showing  that  the  Wrights  were  not  quite 
so  bloodthirsty  as  some  have  endeavored  to  make  them  out, 
I  will  say  that  in  every  instance,  I  believe,  the  Wrights  were 
the  challenged  parties." 


28O  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 


CHAPTER  XV. 

NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS— CONTINUED. 

Andrew  Jackson's  Famous  Meeting  with  Charles  Dickinson — 
"Great  God!  have  I  missed  him?"— The  Iron  Will  of  "Old 
Hickory" — Sam  Houston's  Duel  with  General  White — Gumming 
and  McDuffie — The  Fatal  Crittenden-Conway  Duel  in  Arkansas 
in  1830 — The  Dreadful "  Meeting  of  Major  Riddle  and  Hon. 
Spencer  Pettis  on  Bloody  Island  in  1831 — Both  Combatants 
Mortally  Wounded  at  the  First  Fire — The  Weapons  used  by 
Riddle  and  Pettis  at  present  the  Property  of  Innis  Hopkins  of 
St.  Louis — The  Fatal  Duel  near  Vicksburg  between  Menefee  and 
McClung — A  Highly  Dramatic  Affair — Tragic  End  of  a  Poker 
Game  on  the  Mississippi — James  Bowie  Surprises  a  Gang  of 
Sharpers — A  Duel  upon  the  Wheel-houses  of  a  Steamboat — 
What  came  of  a  Military  Man's  Boasting. 

THE  fatal  duel  between  General  Andrew  Jackson 
and  Charles  Dickinson,  which  was  fought  near  Adair- 
ville  (Tennessee),  on  the  3oth  of  May,  1806,  ranks 
among  what  are  justly  termed  the  noted  American 
duels;  not  only  on  account  of  the  distinguished  char- 
acter of  the  combatants,  but  because  they  were  in- 
comparably "  crack  shots,"  and  because  each  intended 
to  kill  the  other.  Dickinson  had  invited  a  challenge 
from  Jackson  by  aspersing  the  character  or  social 
standing  of  the  wife  of  the  latter.  Each  undoubtedly 
expected  to  receive  a  mischievous  bullet,  but  hoped, 
at  the  same  time,  to  dangerously  wound  or  kill  his 
adversary.  It  was  understood  that  there  would  be  no 


frOTED  AMEKiCAtf  DUELS.  28l 

love  or  sentiment  displayed  during  the  hostile  meet- 
ing, and,  of  course,  no  white  feather.  Both  men  were 
notoriously  brave  and  unspeakably  angry.  Both  were 
experts  with  rifle  and  pistol;  and  Dickinson,  while  on 
his  way  to  the  rendezvous,  amused  his  associates  by 
displaying  his  wonderful  skill  with  a  pistol.  Once,  at 
a  distance  of  twenty-four  feet,  he  fired  four  balls, 
each  at  the  word  of  command,  into  a  space  which 
could  be  covered  by  a  silver  dollar.  Several  times  he 
cut  a  string  with  a  bullet  from  the  same  distance.  It 
is  related  that  he  left  a  severed  cord  hanging  near  a 
tavern,  and  said  to  the  landlord  as  hg  rode  off:  "  If 
General  Jackson  comes  along  this  road,  be  kind 
enough  to  show  him  that."  The  meeting  took  place 
in  the  morning,  and  both  parties  appeared  to  be  per- 
fectly collected.  The  arrangement  agreed  upon  was 
that  the  pistols  were  to  be  held  downward  until  the 
word  was  given  to  fire,  then  each  man  was  to  fire  as 
soon  as  he  pleased.  As  soon  as  the  word  was  given 
Dickinson  raised  his  pistol  and  fired.  A  puff  of  dust 
flew  from  the  breast  of'Jackson's  coat,  and  his  second 
saw  him  raise  his  left  arm  and  place  it  tightly  across 
his  chest.  The  General,  however,  stood  firm,  while 
Dickinson  recoiled,  crying  out:  "Great  God!  have  I 
missed  him?"  A  moment  after,  Jackson  took  deliber- 
ate aim  and  pulled  the  trigger,  but  the  weapon 
stopped  at  half-cock.  He  drew  it  back  to  its  place, 
took  aim  a  second  time,  and  fired.  Dickinson  reeled, 
and  his  face  turned  white;  and,  as  his  friends  hurried 
toward  him,  he  sunk  upon  the  ground.  The  murder- 
ous missle  had  passed  through  the  body  below  the 
ribs.  It  was  only  after  this  that  it  was  discovered 
that  one  of  Jackson's  shoes  was  full  of  blood.  On 
examination,  it  was  found  that  the  bullet  from  Dick. 


282  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

inson's  weapon  had  hit  Jackson  in  the  breast,  break- 
ing two  ribs,  and  making  a  painful  but  not  dangerous 
wound.  Dickinson  lived  until  about  nine  o'clock  in 
the  evening,  at  which  hour  he  expired,  having  bled  to 
death.  It  was  on  this  occasion  that  Andrew  Jackson 
exhibited  his  iron  will  by  saying  to  his  second  that  he 
would  have  lived  long  enough  to  have  killed  his  an- 
tagonist even  if  he  had  been  shot  through  the  heart. 
Jackson  fought  Dickinson  for  the  honor  of  the  woman 
he  loved.  A  description  of  this  duel  lately  appeared 
in  the  Louisville  (Ky.)  Courier- Journal,  which  called 
out  a  communication  from  S.  Park  Baker,  of  Youngs- 
town  (N.  Y.),  which  concluded  as  follows: 

There  is  one  feature  about  this  duel  with  Dickinson,  how- 
ever, that  seems  a  little  peculiar,  and  that  is  that  General 
Jackson,  who  was  a  very  spare  man  in  his  person,  should 
have  been  dressed  in  a  loose-fitting  gown  or  coat,  so  that  his 
antagonist  could  not  readily  tell  the  location  of  his  body." 
Dickinson  aimed  right;  and  if  Jackson's  body  had  been 
where  Dickinson  supposed  it  was,  and  where,  perhaps,  the 
code  duello  would  say  it  ought  to  have  been,  there  is  no  just 
reason  to  doubt  that  General  Jackson  would  at  that  time 
have  "passed  in  his  checks;"  for  the  ball  from  Dickinson's 
pistol  would  have  struck  his  heart  beyond  any  doubt,  accord- 
ing to  the  account  of  the  duel.  Now,  the  criticism  and 
point  I  make  in  the  character  of  "  Old  Hickory,"  in  respect 
to  this  duel,  is  this :  Having  dressed  himself  in  a  manner  to 
deceive  Dickinson  as  to  the  precise  location  of  his  (Jack- 
son's) body,  and  having  received  Dickinson's  bullet  without 
any  serious  injury,  it  was  not  a  just  and  fair  thing  in  Jackson 
afterward  to  take  deliberate  aim  at  Dickinson  and  kill  him. 
No  matter  what  the  provocation  was  on  the  part  of  Dickin- 
son which  led  to  the  duel,  it  seems  to  me  that,  having  re- 
sorted to  what  was  then  considered  an  honorable  method  of 
settling  the  difficulty,  they  were  each  bound  to  give  the 
other  fair  play ;  and  the  only  excuse  or  justification  I  can 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  283 

find  for  General  Jackson  for  his  deliberate  and  premeditated 
killing  of  Dickinson  is  the  fact  that,  perhaps,  upon  general 
principles,  Dickinson  ought  to  have  been  killed  for  slander- 
ing so  upright  and  honorable  a  woman  as  the  wife  of  Gen- 
eral Jackson. 

Near  Nashville  (Tenn.)  is  the  "  Hermitage,"  which 
is  approached  through  a  long  row  of  cedars  on  either 
hand.  Here,  says  the  Courier -Journal, 

in  this  quaint  old  building,  main  rooms  and  shed-rooms  of 
brick,  with  wooden  columns  and  wooden  copings  in  front, 
resided  Colonel  Andrew  Jackson,  adopted  grandson  of  the 
hero,  with  his  wife  and  mother  and  two  old  negroes,  man 
and  wife.  He  was  about  sixteen  years  old  when  it  was 
purchased  by  Jackson,  nearly  sixty  years  ago.  General 
Jackson  and  wife  sleep  side  by  side  in  the  little  garden 
near  the  residence,  each  beneath  a  broad  granite  slab.  In- 
scribed in  old-fashioned  Roman  letters  are  the  words  on  the 
slab  which  covers  Mrs.  Jackson,  composed  by  her  devoted 
husband  :  "  Here  lie  the  remains  of  Mrs.  Rachel  Jackson, 
wife  of  President  Jackson,  who  died  the  22d  December, 
1828."  The  old  hero  had  been  elected  President  for  his  first 
term,  but  did  not  take  his  seat  till  March  4th  following.  The 
inscription  recounts  her  virtues  in  words  forcible  and  tender : 
"A  being  so  gentle  and  yet  so  virtuous,  vile  slander  might 
wound  but  could  not  dishonor.  Even  death,  when  he  tore 
her  from  the  arms  of  her  husband,  could  but  transport  her 
to  the  bosom  of  her  God."  The  day  of  the  funeral,  Jackson, 
feeble  and  heartbroken,  walked  slowly  behind  the  coffin, 
leaning  upon  a  long  cane  he  was  accustomed  at  that  time  to 
carry  about  his  farm.  As  the  friends  of  the  dead  gathered 
about  to  look  for  the  last  time  upon  her  face,  General  Jack- 
son lifted  his  cane  as  if  appealing  to  Heaven,  and  by  a  look 
commanding  silence,  said,  slowly  and  painfully,  and  with  a 
voice  full  of  bitter  tears :  "  In  the  presence  of  this  dear 
saint  I  can  and  do  forgive  all  my  enemies.  But  those  vile 
wretches  who  have  slandered  her  must  look  to  God  for 


284  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

mercy."  One  of  the  most  beautiful  and  redeeming  traits  in 
all  this  rugged  and  heroic  nature  was  the  unaltering  love 
and  devotion  he  bore  his  wife.  For  seventeen  years  after 
her  death  the  memory  of  this  noble  woman  was  cherished, 
until  the  summer  of  1845,  when  he  was  laid  to  rest  beside 
the  only  woman  he  ever  loved — loved  with  a  romantic  ten- 
derness and  strength  surpassing  the  dream  of  fiction. 

General  Sam  Houston,  while  M.  C.  from  the  Nash- 
ville (Tennessee)  district,  in  1826,  fought  a  duel  with 
General  White,  which  created  much  excitement 
throughout  the  United  States  at  the  time.  The  duel 
was  fought  on  the  farm  .of  H.  J.  Duncan,  in  Simpson 
County,  about  six  miles  south  of  Franklin.  It  was  a 
curious  circumstance — that  which  brought  about  this 
fight:  Houston  had  sent  to  his  constituents  a  number 
of  documents  and  some  seeds  for  distribution,  which 
they  had  failed  to  receive,  and  for  which  failure  he 
blamed  Postmaster  Curry,  of  Nashville,  whom  he 
denounced  as  a  scoundrel.  For  this  Curry  sent 
Houston  a  challenge  by  General  White;  who  de- 
clined to  receive  a  cartel  "  from  such  a  contemptible 
source."  "I  am  not  surprised,  sir,"  said  White,  ad- 
dressing himself  to  Houston,  "as  no  one  who  knows 
you  expected  you  would  fight."  "I  will  fight  you, 
sir,  or  any  gentleman;  but  I  will  not  fight  a  scoundrel 
like  Curry,"  replied  Houston.  "I  am  not  sure  of 
that."  "Try  me."  That  same  day  White  sent 
Houston  a  challenge,  which  was  promptly  accepted, 
and  time,  place,  terms,  and  conditions  named:  on 
the  23d  of  September,  1826,  at  sunrise,  near  the 
State  line;  weapons,  holster  pistols;  distance,  fifteen 
feet.  The  parties  met,  according  to  agreement,  and 
White  fell  dangerously  (it  was  thought  at  the  time 
mortally)  wounded  at  the  first  fire.  Houston  started 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  285 

for  the  State  line,  about  two  hundred  yards  distant, 
when  he  saw  his  adversary  fall;  but,  upon  hearing 
White  call,  returned,  and  knelt  by  his  side,  when  the 
wounded  man  said:  "General,  you  have  killed  me." 
"  I  am  very  sorry  for  you,  White,"  responded 
Houston,  "  but  you  know  it  was  forced  upon  me." 
"I  know  it,  and  forgive  you."  White  had  been  shot 
through  just  above  the  hip,  and  the  surgeons,  to 
cleanse  the  wound  of  blood,  drew  one  of  their  old- 
fashioned  silk  neckerchiefs  through  the  bullet-hole. 
Upon  the  complete  recovery  of  White  none  were  so 
overcome  with  joy  as  the  one  who  had  narrowly  es- 
caped becoming  his  executioner. 

Colonel  Gumming,  of  Georgia,  and  Hon.  George 
McDuffie,  of  South  Carolina,  met  near  Sister's  Ferry 
(South  Carolina),  on  the  8th  of  June,  1822,  to  settle  a 
political  quarrel — which  they  did  by  firing  at  each 
other  once  with  pistols  at  twelve  paces — Mr.  McDuffie 
receiving  his  adversary's  bullet  in  the  back  just 
below  the  short  ribs.  The  South  Carolinian,  while 
he  declared  his  intention  of  firing  a  second  shot,  was 
induced  by  his  seconds  and  the  surgeons  of  both 
parties  to  retire  from  the  field,  they  having  assured 
him  that  he  had  received  a  dangerous  wound. 
McDuffie's  pistol  was  prematurely  discharged,  its 
ball  striking  the  ground  about  midway  between  the 
combatants;  and,  although  the  distinguished  states- 
man never  fully  recovered  from  his  severe  wound,  his 
Georgia  "  friends"  never  let  up  on  him  for  getting 
shot  in  the  back. 

A  remarkable  meeting  took  place  in  Arkansas  in 
1830  between  General  Conway  and  Colonel  Robert 
Crittenden,  in  which  the  former  was  killed.  These 
two  gentlemen  were  canvassing  the  (then)  Territory 


286  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

of  Arkansas  for  delegate  to  Congress.  Conway  was 
what  was  then  politically  termed  a  "Jackson  man," 
while  Crittenden  sailed  under  Anti-Jackson  colors. 
A  correspondent  of  the  New  York  Courier  and 
Enquirer,  who  was  present,  tells  the  story  of  the  duel, 
as  follows: 

They  met  in  debate  at  Little  Rock.  There  was  an  im- 
mense concourse  of  people  in  attendance,  and  party  feeling 
ran  very  high.  The  discussion  became  personal,  and 
Crittenden  at  the  close  of  his  second  speech  remarked  that 
he  "  trusted  no  gentleman  would  utter  words  in  the  heat  of 
debate  toward  him  such  as  could  not  be  tolerated  by  the 
code  of  honor."  Conway  retorted  in  a  torrent  of  bitter  in- 
vective and  personal  denunciation.  Crittenden  briefly  and 
calmly  rejoined :  "  Your  language,  General  Conway,  admits 
of  only  one  answer  ;  and  that,  you  may  be  sure,  I  will  make 
right  speedily."  A  hostile  message  was  sent  the  same  day, 
and  the  meeting  arranged  for  the  following  morning.  A 
vast  throng  had  collected  to  witness  the  duel,  for  there  had 
been  no  attempt  made  to  conceal  it.  Ben  Desha,  a  son  of 
Governor  Desha,  of  Kentucky,  was  Crittenden's  second,  and 
Colonel  Wharton  Rector  was  the  second  of  Conway. 
There  was  some  delay  in  settling  the  preliminaries,  at  which 
General  Conway  became  impatient  and  excited,  while 
Crittenden  remained  perfectly  cool,  stretched  quietly  on  a 
blanket,  with  his  eyes  closed,  as  though  he  was  sleeping. 
Finally,  the  principals  were  called  to  their  positions.  The 
spectators,  says  an  eye-witness,  at  a  glance  contrasted  their 
aspect  and  bearing.  Crittenden  inherited  the  noblest  of 
human  forms,  with  fair  hair,  blue  eyes,  and  a  lofty  counte- 
nance, frank  and  open  in  its  expression,  and  wearing  the 
seal  of  death-defying  bravery.  He  stood  cool,  collected,  and 
unconcerned,  like  a  rifleman  about  to  fire  at  a  mark.  But 
Conway  had  a  stern  face,  eyes  dark  as  night,  and  his  look  of 
indubitable  courage  was  perceptibly  tinged  with  revenge. 
At  length  Desha  gave  the  word  in  a  voice  that  rang  over  the 
hills  like  the  peal  of  a  trumpet— Fire  !  One— Two— Three ! 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  287 

At  the  sound  "  Fire "  Conway  raised  his  weapon  and 
drew  the  trigger.  His  bullet  grazed  Crittenden's  breast  and 
cut  a  button  off  his  coat,  without  more  injury.  But 
Crittenden  waited  until  the  last  echo  of  the  word  "Two," 
and  then  his  pistol  exploded.  General  Conway  dropped  to 
the  earth  like  lead.  The  ball  had  pierced  his  heart. 
Crittenden  died  of  fever  a  few  years  after  these  events. 

On  the  27th  of  August,  1881,  Mr.  Edward  Dobyns, 
of  Fulton  (Mo.),  addressed  the  editor  of  the  St.  Louis 
Globe-Democrat  the  following  interesting  communica- 
tion: 

Just  fifty  years  years  ago  to-day,  August  27,  1831,  at  three 
o'clock  P.M.,  Major  Biddle,  of  the  United  States  Army,  and 
the  Hon.  Spencer  Pettis,  only  member  of  Congress  from 
Missouri,  met  on  Bloody  Island,  opposite  St.  Louis,  to 
settle  an  affair  of  honor.  They  took  position  at  five  feet 
apart  and  exchanged  shots.  Both  fell  mortally  wounded, 
and  were  borne  across  the  river  by  their  respective  friends 
to  their  homes.  It  was  my  privilege  to  stand  by  the  bed- 
side of  the  dying  statesman  through  a  night  of 
pain  and  agony.  Never  can  I  forget  the  look  of 
the  young  statesman.  He  turned  his  head,  and  looking 
me  in  the  face,  said :  "  Oh,  if  I  can  only  survive  this." 
I  well  knew  the  meaning  of  these  words.  Nor  can  I 
forget  the  majestic  form  and  noble  bearijig  of  the  late 
Hon.  James  H.  Peck,  then  Judge  of  the  United  States  . 
District  Court  for  the  District  of  Missouri,  who  passed  that 
memorable  night  at  the  bedside  of  Mr.  Pettis,  cheering  and 
encouraging  him  in  his  last  hours;— in  this  showing  his 
gratitude  for  kindnesses  Mr.  Pettis  had  shown  him  when  he 
(Judge  Peck)  had  been  impeached  and  tried  before  the 
Senate  of  the  United  States  for  "alleged  charges  of  oppression 
of  a  distinguished  lawyer  of  St.  Louis,  Colonel  Luke  E. 
Lawless.  Though  an  avowed  political  enemy  to  the  party 
to  which  Mr.  Pettis  belonged,  I  felt  there  was  a  beauty  and 
moral  grandeur  surrounding  the  scene,  and  there  was. 


288  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Gratitude  is  one  of  the  noblest  instincts  of  man.  Just  as 
death  was  approaching  Mr.  Pettis  gave  a  deep  moan. 
Judge  Peck  said :  "  Mr.  Pettis,  you  have  shown  yourself  a 
brave  man,  now  die  like  a  man."  Mr.  Pettis  replied,  "  Yes, 
sir."  I  believe  these  were  his  last  words.  On  the  morning 
of  August  28,  1831,  about  ten  o'clock,  his  spirit  left  its 
frail  tenement  and  passed  away.  Major  Biddle  survived 
until  three  o'clock  Sunday  morning,  when  his  strong  consti- 
tution and  athletic  frame  yielded  to  the  fatal  wound,  and 
his  spirit  took  its  flight.  Thus  ended  this  tragic  affair 
which  has  been  so  much  misrepresented. 

The  pistols  used  in  the  Biddle-Pettis  duel  are  at 
present  owned  by  Innis  Hopkins,  of  St.  Louis,  having 
been  left  him  by  his  father,  Colonel  Brent  Hopkins, 
who  died  at  Henderson  (Kentucky)  on  the  yth  of 
March,  1884.  It  has  been  stated  that  these  same 
pistols  were  used  by  Hamilton  and  Burr,  which  is  a 
positive  mistake;  as  the  latter  are  owned  by  a  gen- 
tleman of  Rochester  (N.  Y.),  and  are  three  inches 
longer  than  these  used  at  Bloody  Island:  they  were 
once  the  property  of  Aaron  Burr,  however,  who 
brought  them  from  England  upon  his  return  to  his 
native  land.  They  were  manufactured  by  H.  W. 
Mortimore,  of  London,  gunmaker  to  his  Majesty. 
The  pistol  which  was  used  by  Pettis  may  be  identi- 
fied by  a  long  deep  notch  indented  on  the  handle — the 
one  used  by  Burr  is  marked  by  a  cross  filed  under 
the  lower  part  of  the  barrel.  The  barrels  of  these 
pistols  are  thirteen  inches  long  and  carry  an  ounce 
ball.  They  have  flint-locks;  the  pans  for  the  priming 
are  lined  with  gold,  and  the  touchholes  are  bushed 
with  the  same  metal.  They  are  hair- triggers,  and 
shoot  with  great  force  and  accuracy.  The  locks  are 
pieces  of  very  superior  mechanism.  The  pair  came 
into  the  possession  of  Colonel  Brent  Hopkins,  through 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  289 

his  uncle,  Captain  Samuel  Goode  Hopkins,  U.  S. 
A.,  who  purchased  them  from  Burr,  paying  him  a 
large  amount  for  them.  The  weapons  have 'surely 
a  blood-stained  history.  They  have  been  used  with 
fatal  effect  in  eleven  duels.  Pettis  killed  Biddle 
with  one  of  them;  Edward  Towns  of  Virginia  killed 
a  Frenchman  near  New  Orleans;  Captain  Sam 
Goode  Hopkins  killed  a  Spanish  Count  near  New 
Madrid  (Mo.);  Hugh  Brent  killed  a  man  from 
Georgia  on  Diamond  Island,  below  Henderson  (Ky.), 
and  they  were  used  several  times  in  Virginia,  twice 
in  South  Carolina,  and  more  than  once  in  Kentucky, 
with  deadly  effect. 

McClung  and  Menefee  met  near  Vicksburg  a  short 
time  before  the  Mexican  War  in  the  presence  of  a 
large  number  of  spectators.  The  weapons  were 
Mississippi  rifles,  distance  sixty  yards.  McClung 
was  a  dead  shot,  having  never  missed  his  man,  while 
Menefee,  who  had  lately  arrived  in  Mississippi  from 
Kentucky,  was  no  novice  with  shooting-irons.  The 
description  of  the  duel  is  thus  told  by  a  correspond- 
ent: 

Sixty  yards  was  the  distance  chosen,  and  when  the 
seconds  went  to  measure  off  the  ground  it  was  with  great 
difficulty  that  the  crowd  could  be  forced  back  so  as  to  allow 
the  fight  to  go  on.  The  positions  were  taken  and  the  rifles 
were  placed  in  the  combatants'  hands.  "Are  you  ready?" 
"  Ready,"  both  firmly  responded.  "  Fire;  one,  two" — 
Here  Menefee's  rifle  exploded,  and  the  bullet  whistled  by 
the  head  of  McClung  and  lodged  in  a  tree  that  appeared  to 
be  on  an  exact  line  with  the  body  of  the  latter.  To  the  sur- 
prise of  everybody,  instead  of  firing  his  piece,  McClung  at- 
tempted to  break  it  in  half,  and  with  a  fierce  oath  hurled  it 
a  distance  of  twenty  feet  away,  where  it  alighted  upon  a  pile 
of  sand  and  stuck,  muzzle  down,  several  feet  in  it.  The 


290  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

seconds  soon  learned  the  cause  of  this  strange  action — the 
gun  had  hung  fire.  It  was  rescued,  the  sand  removed  from 
the  muzzle,  and  reloaded.  After  an  interval  of  ten  minutes 
the  combatants  resumed  their  positions,  and  the  crowd 
gathered  around  them  again.  During  the  interval  many 
bets  had  been  wagered  on  the  result  of  the  duel,  the  odds 
being  generally  in  favor  of  Menefee,  who  was  a  popular 
favorite,  and  who,  moreover,  was  generally  supposed  to  be 
more  proficient  with  the  rifle.  The  word  was  again  given. 
This  time  McClung's  piece  was  more  faithful.  Before 
Menefee's  finger  had  pressed  the  trigger  of  the  rifle  that  of 
McClung  had  been  discharged,  and  the  ball,  striking  the 
cock  of  Menefee's  gun,  hurled  a  piece  of  it  deep  into  the 
brain  of  the  unfortunate  young  man,  who  fell,  and  died 
before  he  could  be  removed  from  the  field. 

In  ante-bellum  times  nowhere  on  the  continent 
were  more  exciting  scenes  witnessed  than  in  the 
cabins  of  some  of  the  Mississippi  river  steamers,  and 
of  these  none  were  more  dramatic  and  tragical  than 
the  following  incident.  Gambling,  oftentimes  for 
the  highest  stakes,  was  universal,  particularly  on  the 
New  Orleans  packets,  and  professional  gamblers  fre- 
quently made  these  boats  their  homes.  Much  has 
been  written  concerning  the  lives  and  characters  of 
these  men,  and  many  are  the  incidents  related  in 
which  they  bore  conspicuous,  if  not  always  honorable, 
parts.  Amongst  the  various  gambling  scenes  that 
have  occurred  on  western  and  southern  rivers,  there 
is  one  which  should  not  be  forgotten,  the  more  so  as 
one  of  the  principal  actors  in  the  event  is  known 
throughout  the  country  to  have  been  a  man  of  tried 
bravery  and  courage,  and  his  name,  James  Bowie,  is 
always  associated  with  the  idea  of  fearlessness.  In 
a  recent  conversation  with  an  old  steamboatman,  a 
reporter  of  the  St.  Louis  Republican  learned  of  the 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  29 1 

following,  which  occurred  on  board  the  steamer 
Orleans,  Captain  Davis — father  of  Captain  John  B. 
Davis,  late  of  the  Diamond  Jo  line — master,  in  the 
Fall  of  1832.  At  that  time  the  river  steamers  were  be- 
ginning to  be  infested  with  organized  bands  of  gam- 
blers, which  in  a  few  years  embraced  in  their  ranks 
as  allies  and  confederates  many  of  the  barkeepers 
and  other  officers  of  the  boats  of  higher  rank,  and 
with  their  assistance  and  connivance  many  a  planter 
was  robbed  of  his  all  and  driven  to  suicide  or  mur- 
der. In  the  Fall  of  the  year  the  merchants  and 
planters  of  the  country  along  the  lower  river  went 
East  to  purchase  goods  or  to  collect  the  proceeds  of 
the  year's  crop  of  cotton  or  sugar,  and  their  arrival 
at  and  departure  from  New  York  were  carefully 
noted  by  emissaries  of  the  gamblers.  If  it  was 
known  that  they  carried  back  to  the  West  or  South 
any  large  amount  of  money,  they  were  watched,  and 
an  efficient  gang  of  sharps  was  placed  upon  their 
tracks.  In  the  summer  of  1833  a  young  gentleman 
of  Natchez,  who  had  just  been  married,  made  an  ex- 
tended wedding  trip  to  the  North,  and  on  his  way 
back  home  had  stopped  in  New  York  to  collect  a 
number  of  bills  which  had  been  intrusted  to  him  for 
collection  by  planters  at  and  near  Natchez,  and  the 
amount  in  the  aggregate  was  quite  large.  Shortly 
after  his  arrival  in  New  York  the  young  man  was 
spotted,  and  his  acquaintance  made  by  several  of  the 
gambling  fraternity,  but,  though  they  tried  hard  to 
do  so,  they  failed  to  inveigle  him  into  any  of  their 
dens.  When  he  had  transacted  his  business  there 
the  young  man  started  for  home  with  his  wife,  but, 
knowing  of  his  probable  route,  a  well-organized  gang 
started  ahead  of  him,  leaving  two  of  the  fraternity  to 


292  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

accompany  their  intended  victim  and  keep  him  in 
sight.  Learning  at  Pittsburg  that  he  would  take  a 
steamer  there  for  Louisville,  where  he  would  remain 
a  few  days,  and  then  take  one  of  the  New  Orleans 
packets  for  Natchez,  they  joined  him  on  the  boat, 
and  on  the  trip  to  Louisville  card  playing  was  intro- 
duced to  while  away  the  time.  Having  been  allowed 
to  win  small  sums,  by  the  time  they  had  reached 
Louisville  the  victim  imagined  he  knew  all  about  the 
game.  This  game,  which  at  the  time  referred  to  was 
much  in  vogue,  was  called  20-card  poker,  and  was 
played  with  the  tens,  jacks,  and  queens,  kings,  and 
aces  of  the  pack,  and  as  but  four  could  play  at  a 
time  the  game  was  admirably  adapted  for  what  is 
known  to  the  gambling  fraternity  as  "three  pluck 
one."  After  a  pleasant  visit  in  Louisville  the  young 
man  took  passage  on  the  steamer  Orleans  for  Natchez. 
The  gentlemen's  cabin,  where  all  the  card-playing 
was  done,  was  on  the  main  deck,  directly  under  the 
ladies'  cabin.  Instead  of  the  round  wheel-houses 
now  seen,  the  Orleans'  were  square,  flat  on  top,  and 
came  up  to  within  two  feet  of  the  hurricane  deck, 
and  the  distance  between  them  was  about  thirty-five 
feet.  Not  long  after  leaving  Louisville  card-playing 
was  resumed,  and  so  effectually  had  the  gamblers  car- 
ried out  their  scheme  that  they  had  won  nearly  all 
their  victim's  money  before  reaching  Vicksburg,  and 
had  intended  to  complete  their  work  before  Natchez 
was  reached,  a  comparatively  easy  task,  as  he  was 
drunk  and  desperate.  A  few  miles  above  Vicksburg 
a  tall,  straight,  and  dignified  gentleman,  having  much 
the  appearance  of  a  preacher,  got  aboard  the  boat, 
and  in  a  few  minutes  took  a  seat  near  the  gamblers, 
where  he  could  see  all  that  was  going  on.  Several 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  293 

times  during  the  continuance  of  the  game,  and  after 
the  tall  stranger  had  come  aboard,  the  young  wife 
of  the  gamblers'  victim  had  besought  him  to  leave 
their  company,  but  in  vain,  so  deep  was  the  infatua- 
tion of  the  game,  and  so  strong  his  belief  that  he 
could  yet  win  back  the  money  which  he.  had  lost. 
Play  continued  into  the  night,  and  by  i  o'clock  in 
the  morning  his  money  was  all  won  from  him,  and, 
rendered  desperate  by  the  knowledge  that  he  had 
been  recreant  to  the  trust  reposed  in  him,  the  victim 
rose  from  his  seat  and  rushed  wildly  to  the  side  of 
the  boat,  intent  upon  self-destruction,  but  just  as  he 
was  in  the  act  of  springing  overboard  he  was  seized 
by  a  grip  of  iron  and  held,  and,  his  young  wife  ap- 
pearing at  that  time,  he  was  taken  to  his  room  by 
the  stranger,  who  assured  her  that  all  would  be  right 
if  she  would  only  keep  her  husband  in  the  room  until 
his  return.  Returning  to  the  cabin,  where  the  gam- 
blers and  their  friends  were  standing  around  the  bar 
drinking,  the  stranger  drew  out  of  his  pocket  a  well- 
filled  wallet,  and  taking  out  of  it  a  $100  bank  note, 
asked  the  barkeeper  to  change  it  for  him.  This  the 
barkeeper  could  not  do,  but  referred  him  to  the  prin- 
cipal gambler,  saying:  "  This  gentleman  can  change 
it  for  you."  "Oh,  yes,"  he  answered  at  once,  "won't 
you  take  a  drink?"  Thanking  him,  the  stranger  ac- 
cepted the  invitation,  and  whilst  the  change  was 
being  made,  just  touched  his  glass  to  his  lips.  The 
gamblers  had  all  seen  the  well-filled  wallet,  and,  as 
the  stranger  casually  remarked  that  he  stopped  at 
Natchez,  they  determined  to  try  to  catch  and  fleece 
him.  One  of  them  remarked  that  he  did  not  care  to 
go  to  bed,  and  proposed  that  another  game  be  played, 
to  which,  of  course,  the  others  agreed,  but,  as  there 


294  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

were  but  three  of  them  who  understood  the  game,  and 
it  required  four  to  play  it,  the  stranger  was  invited 
to  join  them,  which,  after  a  little  hesitation  on  his 
part,  he  assented  to.  The  game  began  by  the 
stranger  being  allowed  to  win  several  large  bets. 
But  he  kept  his  eyes  open,  and  although  they  did 
not  know  it,  he  was  perfectly  aware  of  what  was 
going  on.  After  playing  for  about  an  hour,  and  just 
as  day  was  breaking,  the  gamblers  concluded  to 
finish  by  giving  the  stranger  a  hand  which  would 
induce  him  to  bet  largely,  and  as  there  were  three  of 
them,  and  he  could  not  call,  they  felt  certain  they 
could  force  him  to  put  up  all  he  had  before  they 
would  allow  him  to  have  a  show.  Everything  worked 
as  they  had  anticipated ;  the  man  opposite  the 
stranger  dealt  the  cards  and  the  man  on  his  right 
went  $10  blind;  the  ante  was  $5.  When  the  cards 
were  dealt  the  stranger  put  up  $20,  and  the  next 
man  did  the  same,  when  the  dealer  raised  him  $20, 
putting  up  $40.  When  it  came  to  the  turn  of  the 
one  who  made  the  blind  he  put  up  $130,  thus  raising 
it  $100.  The  stranger  quietly  put  up  the  requisite 
amount,  and  when  the  next  man  bet  $100  more,  the 
next  man,  the  dealer,  then  threw  up  his  hand  and  drew 
out.  The  two  remaining  gamblers  then  kept  raising 
the  bet  whenever  it  came  their  turn,  the  stranger 
coolly  putting  up  whatever  sum  was  necessary  until 
the  total  amount  on  the  table  was  fully  $100,000,  of 
which  the  stranger  had  contributed  one  third.  Whilst 
the  betting  was  going  on  the  stranger  had  kept  his 
eye  on  the  dealer  and  had,  by  his  watchfulness,  pre- 
vented any  changing  of  cards.  Toward  the  last  he 
saw  a  card  slipped  by  the  dealer  to  the  man  who  had 
made  the  blind,  when,  seizing  him  by  the  wrist  with 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  295 

one  hand,  he  drew  a  murderous  looking  knife  with 
the  other  and  forced  the  gambler  to  lay  his  cards  on 
the  table  face  down.  All  sprang  to  their  feet  and 
the  stranger  quietly  said  that  when  that  hand  was 
raised  and  it  should  be  found  to  contain  six  cards, 
he  would  kill  the  owner;  telling  the  other  to  show 
his  cards,  he  threw  down  his  own  hand,  which  con- 
sisted of  four  kings  and  a  ten  spot.  The  baffled 
gambler,  livid  with  rage  and  disappointment,  swore 
that  the  stranger  should  fight  him,  demanding,  with 
an  oath,  to  know  who  he  was  anyway.  Quietly,  and 
as  if  in  the  presence  of  ladies,  the  stranger  answered, 
"James  Bowie."  At  the  sound  of  that  name  two  of 
the  gamblers  quailed,  for  they  knew  that  the  man 
who  bore  that  name  was  a  terror  to  even  the  bravest; 
but  the  third,  who  had  never  heard  of  "  James 
Bowie,"  demanded  a  duel  at  once.  This  was  ac- 
ceded to  at  once  by  Bowie,  with  a  smile;  pistols — 
derringers  —  were  the  weapons  selected,  the  hurri- 
cane-roof the  place,  and  the  time  at  once.  Sweeping 
the  whole  of  the  money  into  his  hat,  Bowie  went  to 
the  room  where  the  unhappy  wife  sat  guarding  her 
husband's  uneasy  slumbers,  and,  rapping  on  the  door, 
he  handed  her,  when  she  had  opened  it,  the  hat  and 
its  contents,  telling  her  that  if  he  did  not  come  back, 
two  thirds  of  the  money  was  her  husband's  and  the 
balance  his  own.  Ascending  to  the  hurricane-roof 
the  principals  were  placed  one  upon  the  top  of  each 
wheel-house.  This  brought  them  about  twelve  yards 
apart,  and  each  was  exposed  to  the  other  from  the 
knee  up.  The  pistols  were  handed  to  them  and  the 
gambler's  second  gave  the  word,  "one,  two,  three, 
fire,  stop,"  uttered  at  intervals  of  one  second  each, 
and  they  were  allowed  to  fire  at  any  time  between 


296  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

the  utterance  of  the  words  one  and  stop.  As  "one" 
rang  out  in  the  clear  morning  air  both  raised  their 
weapons,  as  "  three"  was  heard  the  gambler's  pistol 
rang  out  and  before  the  sound  had  ceased  and  whilst 
the  word  "fire"  was  being  uttered,  Bowie's  pistol 
sounded,  and  simultaneous  with  this  sound  the  gam- 
bler fell,  and  giving  a  convulsive  struggle  rolled  off 
the  wheel-house  into  the  river.  Bowie  coolly  blew 
the  smoke  out  of  his  pistol,  shut  down  the  pan  (the 
flint-lock  was  in  use  at  the  time),  and  going  down 
into  the  ladies'  cabin  obtained  his  hat  and  divided 
the  money  which  it  contained  into  three  portions. 
Two  of  these  he  gave  to  the  young  wife  and  the 
other  he  kept,  as  it  was  his  own  money.  Having 
awakened  her  husband,  the  fond  wife  showed  him 
the  money,  and  told  him  all  she  knew  about  the 
affair,  not  having  heard  of  the  duel.  When  the  hus- 
band became  acquainted  with  all  the  facts,  his  grati- 
tude to  his  benefactor  was  deep  and  lasting.  Not 
desiring  to  be  made  a  hero  of,  Bowie,  when  the  boat 
reached  Rodney,  determined  to  go  ashore;  and  as  he 
was  leaving  the  boat  both  the  husband  and  wife 
clung  to  him  as  though  he  was  a  father  leaving  them. 
It  was  afterward  ascertained  that  the  amount  which 
Bowie  returned  to  the  wife  was  within  less  than  $100 
of  the  sum  which  the  gamblers  had  won  from  her 
husband. 

A  Buffalo  (N.  Y.)  correspondent  of  the  New  York 
Times  writes  as  follows,  under  date  of  August  n, 
1883: 

One  of  the  handsomest  residences  along  the  Niagara 
River  is  that  of  W.  C.  Allen,  near  the  head  of  Grand  Island. 
A  portion  of  his  lawn  now  occupies  a  spot  which  should 
have  no  little  historical  interest.  The  incident  giving  it  that 


NOTED   AMERICAN  DUELS.  297 

interest  is  probably  little  known  outside  of  local  circles,  and 
is  now  recalled  only  through  the  existence  of  a  document 
which  has  been  preserved  in  a  prominent  family  now  resi- 
dent at  Niagara  Falls.  This  document  is  as  follows: 

"  A  meeting  took  place  between  General  Smyth  and  Gen- 
eral Porter  yesterday  afternoon  on  Grand  Island  in  pur- 
suance of  previous  arrangements.  They  met  at  Dayton's 
Tavern,  and  crossed  the  river  with  their  friends  and  sur- 
geons. Both  gentlemen  behaved  with  the  utmost  coolness 
and  unconcern.  A  shot  was  fired  in  as  intrepid  and  firm  a 
manner  as  possible  by  each  gentleman,  but  without  effect. 
It  was  then  represented  by  General  Smyth's  second  that 
General  Porter  must  now  be  convinced  that  the  charge  of 
cowardice  against  General  Smyth  was  unfounded,  and  should 
in  honor  be  retracted,  which,  after  mutual  explanations  as 
to  the  matters  which  had  given  rise  to  the  charge,  was  ac- 
cordingly done  by  him. 

"  General  Smyth  then  explained  that  his  remarks  on  Gen- 
eral Porter  were  the  result  of  irritation,  and  were  intended 
as  provocation  from  having  been  assailed  by  General  Porter, 
and  that  he  knew  nothing  derogatory  to  General  Porter's 
character  as  a  gentleman  and  an  officer.  The  hand  of  recon- 
ciliation was  then  offered  and  received. 

"We  congratulate  the  friends  of  these  gentlemen  upon 
this  fortunate  termination  of  a  difference  arising  from  too 
much  precipitation,  but  which  has  been  adjusted  in  a  man- 
ner so  honorable  to  both. 

"WILLIAM  H.  WINDER, 
"SAMUEL  ANGUS. 

"BLACK  ROCK,  Dec.  13,  1812." 

In  1810  General  Peter  B.  Porter  was  a  resident  of  Canan- 
daigua,  which  was  then  the  most  prominent  place  in  western 
New  York,  much  of  which  was,  in  fact,  but  little  more  than 
a  wilderness.  In  the  year  named  he  was  elected  to  Con- 
gress, but,  disliking  political  life,  he  retired  from  it  the  next 
year  and  removed  to  Black  Rock,  where  he  owned  large 
estates,  which  are  now  a  portion  of  Buffalo.  He  resided 
there  at  the  breaking  out  of  the  war  of  1812,  and  as  the 


298  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Canadian  frontier  was  to  be  an  important  strategic  point  in 
the  contest,  all  of  the  militia  of  western  New  York  was 
ordered  for  service  at  the  various  points  along  the  frontier. 
General  Porter  was  appointed  to  the  command  of  the  militia 
by  the  Governor  of  the  State,  to  act  in  concert  with  the 
regular  troops,  which  were  placed  under  command  of  a 
Virginian  named  Alexander  Smyth.  The  latter  had  no 
military  experience,  except  in  a  local  way,  but  he  was  a  man 
of  great  assurance,  and  of  a  bombastic,  vainglorious  dispo- 
sition. Porter's  headquarters  were  at  Black  Rock,  and 
Smyth's  were  nearby.  "Soon  after  establishing  himself  at 
Black  Rock,"  says  a  gentleman  to  whom  General  Porter 
related  the  circumstances  fifty  years  ago,  "General  Smyth 
issued  a  long  proclamation  to  his  troops,  couched  in  the 
most  extravagant  language  and  filled  with  boasting  prog- 
nostications of  what  he  intended  to  do  with  the  British 
upon  the  opening  of  Spring.  The  tenor  of  the  proclamation 
was  that  if  Spring  opened  early  and  favorably  he  would  im- 
mediately invade  Canada,  capture  all  of  its  strongholds,  and 
put  a  summary  end  to  the  war.  This  bombastic  document 
made  the  egotistical  Southerner  the  subject  of  the  greatest 
ridicule  both  in  and  out  of  camp.  It  so  disgusted  Gen- 
eral Porter  that  he  charged  openly  that  such  language  and 
silly  boastfulness  could  not  emanate  from  a  man  of  courage 
and  bravery.  This  remark  of  General  Porter  was  commu- 
nicated at  once  to  General  Smyth,  and  he  sent  at  once  a 
fiery  challenge  to  General  Porter  to  meet  him  on  the  field 
of  honor  and  test  his  courage.  General  Porter  was  not  a 
duellist  nor  a  believer  in  duelling,  but,  holding  the  position 
he  did,  he  did  not  feel  that  he  could  decline  this  challenge, 
and  he  promptly  accepted  it.  He  selected  General  William 
Winder,  of  the  regular  army,  as  his  second,  and  General 
Smyth  chose  Adjutant  Samuel  Angus,  of  his  command. 
Dayton's  Tavern,  where  the  parties  met,  was  then  a  well- 
known  hostelry  of  that  day,  but  was  long  ago  torn  down. 
Its  site  is  six  miles  below  Buffalo,  on  the  banks  of  the 
Niagara  River,  and  is  now  occupied  by  the  residence  of  the 
John  A.  Hopkins  family.  The  official  report  of  the  duel 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  299 

reads  well,  but  General  Porter  always  said  that  General 
Smyth's  bearing  and  conduct  during  the  affair  were  in  no 
way  calculated  to  convince  any  one  that  he  was  courageous 
or  in  any  way  fitted  for  a  military  command.  Smyth  gave 
up  his  command  soon  afterwards,  and  returned  to  Virginia, 
He  was  returned  to  Congress  for  his  district  for  several 
years,  where  his  manners  made  him  the  constant  butt  of  his 
fellow-Congressmen." 


300  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 


CHAPTER  XVI. 

NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS— CONTINUED. 

Journalistic  Encounters — Editors  who  have  Backed  Up  their 
Opinions  with  Swords,  Pistols,  Knives,  Rifles,  Shotguns, 
Blunderbusses,  and  Yagers — Fatal  Meetings  in  Virginia — A 
Bloody  Affair  at  Belle  Isle — Messrs.  Beirne  and  Elam's  Pictur- 
esque Drama — Joaquin  Miller's  Symposium — Belligerent  Mis- 
sissippi Editors — A  Fighting  Newspaper  and  no  Mistake — 
Louisiana  Belligerents — Creole  Punctiliousness — Duels  among 
California  Editors — Gilbert  and  Denver — John  Nugent's  Two 
Duels — Badly  Wounded  in  both — Carter  and  DeCourcey — 
Washington  and  Washburne — Will  Hicks  Graham's  Desperate 
Duels  with  Frank  Lemon  and  General  William  Walker,  the 
Great  Filibuster — Calvin  B.  MacDonald's  Graphic  Description 
of  the  Tevis-Lippincott  Duel — The  Meeting  between  Judge 
Stidger  and  Colonel  Rust — A  Clash  between  Northern  and 
Southern  Pluck — Wilson  and  Beane — James  Watson  Webb 
and  Thomas  F.  Marshall — Gibson  and  Irving,  of  Tennessee — 
Bynum  and  Perry,  of  South  Carolina — James  Gordon  Bennett 
and  Fred  May,  of  New  York — Goodman  and  Fitch,  of  Nevada 
— An  Episode  of  Mobile,  after  the  War — How  two  Men 
Fought  with  Rifles  and  afterward  "  Drowned  their  Sorrows  in 
the  Flowing  Bowl." 

TIME  was  when  the  average  American  editor  was 
liable  to  be  called  upon  to  defend  his  printed  state- 
ments upon  a  hostile  field;  and  it  is  a  noteworthy  fact 
that  many  an  unfortunate  scribe  has  been  ceremoni- 
ously slain — thus  proving  conclusively  that  the  pen  is 
not  always  mightier  than  the  sword.  Seriously,  the 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  3OI 

practice  of  duelling  prevailed  to  a  considerable  ex- 
tent among  American  journalists  in  ante-bellum  days, 
and  especially  among  the  editorial  brotherhood  in 
the  States  lying  south  of  the  so-called  "Mason  and 
Dixon's  line"  and  in  the  States  and  Territories  of  the 
u  Far  West."  Many  famous  meetings  have  taken  place 
among  belligerent  members  of  the  Virginia  press,  one 
of  the  most  noted  being  that  fatal  one  a  number  of 
years  before  the  Southern  Rebellion  between  Mr. 
Ritchie  (of  the  Richmond  Enquirer]  and  John  Hamp- 
den  Pleasants  (of  the  Richmond  Whig).  Ritchie 
was  the  editor  of  a  violent  Democratic  paper,  while 
Pleasants  was  an  uncompromising  Whig.  A  per- 
sonal attack  in  the  columns  of  one  paper,  responded 
to  by  a  no  less  personal  answer  in  the  other,  resulted 
in  a  challenge  and  a  meeting.  The  scene  was  Belle 
Isle,  the  little  islet  in  the  James  River,  at  Richmond. 
Here,  in  sight  of  the  city's  busy  streets,  the  two 
editors  met  and  fought.  They  had  each  gone  to  the 
fray  armed  with  duelling  pistols  and  swords.  The 
conditions  of  the  fight,  as  agreed  upon  by  their 
seconds,  were  that  after  the  first  fire  with  the  pistols, 
if  neither  should  be  hurt,  they  should  have  recourse 
to  their  swords.  The  swords  remained  in  their  scab- 
bards, however,  for  at  the  first  shot  Pleasants  fell 
dead  in  his  tracks.  On  the  i2th  of  June,  1869, 
Robert  W.  Hughes  (of  the  Richmond  State  Journal) 
and  William  E.  Cameron  (of  the  Richmond  Index) 
fought  with  pistols  in  North  Carolina,  and  the  latter 
was  hit  in  the  breast  at  the  first  fire.  In  March,  1843, 
Melzer  Gardner,  editor  of  the  Portsmouth  (Va.) 
Chronicle,  was  killed  by  a  lawyer  named  Mordecai 
Cook,  Jr.,  on  Ferry  Wharf;  and  on  the  following  day 
a  mob  threatened  to  tear  down  Cook's  house,  at 


302  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

which  Mrs.  Cook  took  fright  and  died  in  a  few  hours. 
During  the  Summer  of  1883  Messrs.  Beirne  and  Elam 
(respectively  of  the  Richmond  State  and  Despatch) 
created  a  great  sensation  throughout  the  whole  coun- 
try by  their  picturesque  drama,  which  culminated  in 
the  wounding  of  Elam.  E.  W.  Johnson  and  J.  M. 
Daniel,  Virginia  editors,  met  at  or  near  Bladensburg 
in  1852,  exchanged  harmless  shots,  and  then  retired 
friends.  During  the  following  year  Robert  Ridge- 
way  (a  Virginia  editor)  and  HOJI.  S.  G.  Davis  en- 
gaged in  a  similar  affair  at  Bladensburg. 

On  the  20th  of  October,  1883,  Joaquin  Miller, 
who  had  been  studying  the  traits  of  a  number  of  the 
modern  duellists  of  Virginia,  writes,  felicitously,  as 
follows  from  Richmond  to  the  San  Francisco 
Chronicle: 

"Going  down  South  as  far  as  Richmond,  are  you?  Well, 
let  me  give  you  a  letter  to  my  friend  Beirne,  editor  of  the 
State"  "What !  Beirne,  the  fighting  editor,  who  shot  Elam 
last  Summer,  and  who  fought  United  States  Senator  Riddle- 
berger  ?  Yes,  give  me  a  letter  to  this  gay  duellist.  I  want 
to  see  him.  I  want  to  ask  him  just  exactly  how  a  man  feels 
when  standing  face  to  face  with  a  Christian  gentleman  only 
ten  steps  away,  waiting  for  the  word  of  death.  I  will  make 
a  letter  of  it.  I  will  publish  it  to  the  world  exactly  as  he 
tells  it  to  me — word  for  word,  letter  for  letter.  It  will  make 
good  reading ;  maybe  it  will  do  good.  It  will  certainly  do 
no  harm."  Finding  I  was  really  interested  in  duellists,  my 
friend  gave  me  a  cordial  letter  not  only  to  Beirne,  editor 
of  the  State,  at  Richmond,  but  also  to  Mr.  C.,  editor  and 
owner  of  the  Dispatch,  as  was  his  father  before  him.  This 
latter  gentleman  has  in  fact  been  in  even  more  mortal  com- 
bats than  Mr.  Beirne.  But  they  were  not  quite  so  recent  nor 
so  fresh  in  my  mind  ;  in  fact,  not  nearly  so  picturesque  as 
the  singular  duel  between  Beirne  and  Elam  last  Summer,  in 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  303 

which  the  latter  was  thought  to  be  mortally  wounded  for 
the  second  time.  And  so  my  heart  went  out  with  a  bound- 
less desire  to  see,  to  shake  hands,  if  I  could  do  it  safely, 
with  this  bloody  duellist,  who  had  shot  down  Elam,  grace- 
fully lifted  his  hat,  bowed  good-morning  to  him  as  he  lay 
there  in  his  blood  on  the  grass,  and  turned  back  to  his  work 
at  the  editorial  desk  as  if  nothing  had  happened.  As  I 
whirled  away  on  the  road  to  Richmond  I  recalled  the  comic 
as  well  as  the  serious  incidents  of  the  Beirne-Elam  duel  last 
Summer.  You  may  remember  that  they  went  from  Rich- 
mond to  West  Virginia  to  fight ;  were  arrested  at  once, 
released  on  giving  security  to  keep  the  peace  in  that  State, 
and  so  agreed  to  fight  somewhere  else.  You  will  also  re- 
member that  it  was  afterwards  and  finally  settled  that 
Beirne  was  to  meet  Elam  several  hundred  miles  distant  in 
Virginia,  but  somehow  the  word  did  not  reach  Beirne  so 
soon  as  expected  informing  him  of  the  place  of  meeting ; 
that  he  had  set  out  at  midnight  and  in  the  midst  of  a 
thunder-storm ;  that  there  was  no  railway  and  the  journey 
had  to  be  made  on  horse-back  and  by  carriage.  You  will 
recall  the  fact  of  this  bloodthirsty  gentleman  in  his  zeal  to 
reach  the  spot  in  time  being  washed  away  by  a  mountain 
stream,  borne  half  a  mile  down  in  the  freshet,  carriage  and 
all,  drowning  his  horses  and  barely  escaping  with  his  life. 
But  he  crawled  out  of  the  water  and  kept  on.  Then  to  add 
to  all  this  the  officers  of  the  law  were  close  on  his  heels,  and 
were  only  kept  back  by  the  dangerous  mountain  torrents. 
You  may  remember,  too,  that  at  one  mountain  hamlet  the 
officers  lodged  in  the  house  while  the  duellist,  whom  they 
supposed  still  ahead  of  them,  was  cosily  and  peacefully 
sleeping  in  the  chicken-coop,  while  the  seconds  kept  watch 
and  cleaned  and  dried  the  pistols  for  the  deadly  encounter 
on  the  morrow.  Well,  you  see,  I  did  not  care  so  much 
about  this  funny  part  of  it,  but  what  I  wanted  was  to  get 
right  at  the  heart  of  the  man's  heart,  if  you  will  pardon  the 
expression.  I  wanted  a  candid,  square  man  to  tell  me  just 
precisely  how  he  felt,  whether  angry  still ;  whether  bitter  at 
heart,  or  kind  and  forgiving ;  whether  he  did  not  wish  he 


304  THE   FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

hadn't  come  after  all  and  let  the  other  fellow  have  his  say 
and  his  way,  rather  than  have  at  the  last  to  plug  an  ounce 
bullet  in  his  breast,  and  send  him  home  a  bleeding  corpse 
to  his  wife  and  babes.  The  day  after  my  arrival  in  Rich- 
mond I  sent  my  letters  of  introduction  to  the  newspaper 
offices  and  waited  the  result.  About  noon  the  cards  of  the 
two  famous  duellists  came  up  together.  This  was  delicious. 
Now  I  indeed  should  know  all  about  the  singular  sensation 
of  standing  before  a  Christian  gentleman  and  looking  down 
the  muzzle  of  his  pistol  as  the  moments  swelled  into  hours 
while  waiting  the  words,  "  one,  two,  three  —  Fire  T  The 
handsome  young  editor  of  the  Dispatch  put  me  at  ease  at 
once  by  his  quiet  and  graceful  way  of  bidding  me  welcome 
to  Richmond.  But  the  other  man  absorbed  all  my  atten- 
tion instantly.  Desperate?  Tall,  gaunt,  bony  and  blood- 
thirsty? Why,  God  bless  your  soul,  he  is  the  sleekest, 
sleepiest,  best-fed,  fattest,  best-natured  looking  editor  in 
the  United  States.  His  blue  eyes  are  mild  as  a  child's. 
He  looks  and  acts  in  fact  like  a  great  big  green  boy  just 
out  of  school.  And  intellectually,  he  looks  as  if,  like  my- 
self, he  had  never  been  quite  able  to  enter  into  familiar 
relations  with  the  multiplication  table,  or  even  any  high 
degree  of  mental  arithmetic.  Permit  me  to  say  here,  by 
way  of  parenthesis,  so  that  my  friends  in  California  may  not 
be  uneasy  on  my  account,  that  before  this  sketch  is  pub- 
lished I  shall  be  on  my  way  either  to  London  or  San  Fran- 
cisco. Well,  after  the  ordinary  salutations  we  sat  down  and, 
ordered  cigars.  No ;  they  would  not  smoke,  these  young 
fire-eaters.  "  I  never  smoke  but  one  cigar  a  day  and  that  is 
at  night,"  calmly  said  the  editor  of  the  Dispatch,  as  he 
toyed  with  his  cane  and  glasses.  Then  I  had  brandy 
brought  up,  as  I  had  been  taught  to  believe  that  these 
bloody  duellists  and  Southerners  lived  on  brandy  when  they 
could  not  get  blood  to  drink.  No ;  they  would  not  drink  at 
all.  The  big,  green  schoolboy  who  had  stretched  so  many 
of  his  enemies  on  the  grass  said  he  never  drank  anything 
stronger  than  beer,  and  only  a  glass  or  two  of  that  toward 
the  close  of  the  day,  when  his  work  was  done.  I  did  not 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  305 

see  just  then  any  good  opportunity  to  wedge  in  an  inquiry 
directly  about  duels,  as  the  conversations  led  over  the  ordi- 
nary routes  of  congratulation  and  inquiry  as  to  the  various 
features  of  the  South,  and  so  felt  a  bit  disappointed.  But 
when  they  arose  to  leave  it  was  to  my  infinite  delight  ar- 
ranged that  we  should  all  three,  along  with  an  old  Califor- 
nian,  also  a  dead  shot  and  duellist,  go  out  driving  under  the 
magnolia  trees  and  through  the  beautiful  and  sadly  impres- 
sive Richmond  Cemetery.  The  first  thing  these  three  duel- 
lists did  was  to  drive  me  to  the  famous  club-house  here,  cel- 
ebrated not  only  for  its  wide-door  hospitality,  but  for  many 
costly  and  historical  pictures.  That  of  Pocahontas  seemed 
to  abound  everywhere.  How  many  Virginians  have  de- 
scended from  Pocahontas  it  is  hard  to  say.  But  if  any  ten 
other  Indians  had  increased  as  she  is  supposed  to  have  in- 
creased it  is  safe  to  say  that  the  race  of  savages,  so  far  from 
perishing  from  the  earth,  would  to-day,  numerically  at 
least,  be  in  the  ascendant  over  the  Saxon.  At  this  elegant 
club  my  recollection-  is  that  these  three  duellists  ordered 
brandy  and  seltzer,  but  as  they  drank  only  seltzer  they  left 
me  nothing  but  brandy.  I  had  to  drink  what  was  left,  for 
no  wise  man  will  be  particular  when  alone  with  three  duel- 
lists. The  conversation  as  we  sat  there  took  a  historic  turn 
— the  early  settlement  of  Virginia,  the  great  battle  just  out 
at  the  edge  of  the  town  at  what  is  still  called  Bloody  Run, 
the  Indians,  the  generosity  of  Virginia  in  giving  half  a 
dozen  States  to  the  Union  and  receiving,  asking,  indeed,  not 
one  cent  for  all  that  boundless  domain.  Then  we  had  more 
brandy  and  seltzer,  divided  up  as  before.  By  this  time  I 
had  mustered- a  little  valor  and  tried  to  get  my  shoulder 
under  the  conversation  and  lift  it  up  into  the  atmosphere  of 
the  field  of  honor,  but  just  then  the  black  boy  in  buttons 
called  out  the  carriage  at  the  club-house  door,  and  in  a  mo- 
ment more  we  were  driving  toward  the  great  cemetery  under 
the  beautiful  magnolia  trees,  up  the  banks  of  the  classic 
James,  overlooking  Belle  Island.  Nearly  a  mile  of  the  most 
delightful  drive  on  this  earth,  so  far  as  scenery  goes,  peeps 
through  the  trees — a  drop-curtain  for  a  theatre,  in  fact,  at 


306  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

almost  every  turn  of  the  wheel — and  we  drove  through  the 
gate,  with  its  great  broken  ivy-covered  columns. 

The  Mississippi  editors  were  quite  as  hostile  as  the 
Virginians.  In  1838  Dr.  James  Hagan,  of  the  Vicks- 
burg  Sentinel,  fought  with  the  editor  of  the  Vicks- 
burg  Whig,  and  the  latter  was  wounded.  In  1843 
Hagan  was  assassinated  on  a  public  street  in  Vicks- 
burg  by  Daniel  W.  Adams,  who  admitted  the  shoot- 
ing at  the  Coroner's  inquest,  and  said  that  he  had 
killed  Hagan  on  account  of  an  article  written  by  the 
latter  reflecting  on  Judge  George  Adams,  of  Jackson 
(Mississippi),  father  of  Daniel.  In  June,  1842,  James 
F.  Fall,  one  of  the  editors  of  the  Sentinel,  fought  with 
T.  E.  Robins,  of  the  Railroad  Bank,  and  was  wound- 
ed. In  May,  1844,  Robins  again  met  an  editor  of  the 
Sentinel,  James  M.  Downs,  and  the  latter  was  wound- 
ed. They  fought  with  "yagers,."  at  fifteen  paces. 
Shortly  after  this  affair  Captain  Walter  Hickey,  a 
fresh  Sentinel  editor,  had  a  meeting,  with  revolvers, 
with  Dr.  Macklin,  and  the  latter  was  mortally  wound- 
ed. After  this  duel  Hickey  came  out  best  in  several 
encounters  in  and  around  Vicksburg,  but  was  finally 
"laid  out"  in  Texas  by  Joseph  Moses,  in  1849.  In 
1845  James  Ryan,  another  Sentinel  editor,  was  sent  to 
his  last  account  by  R.  E.  Hammet,  of  the  Whig. 
Still  later,  an  editor  of  the  Sentinel  named  Jenkins  was 
killed  by  H.  A.  Crabbe,  who  was  afterward  beheaded 
in  Sonora. 

In  1851  John  William  Frost,  one  of  the  editors  of 
the  New  Orleans  Crescent,  and  Dr.  Thomas  Hunt,  a 
distinguished  physician  of  New  Orleans,  fought  near 
the  United  States  Barracks,  below  the  city,  with 
double-barrelled  shotguns,  and  the  editor  was  mor- 
tally wounded  at  the  second  shot  and  died  in  half  an 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  307 

hour.  Dr.  Hunt  was  the  challenged  party.  A  few 
months  previous  to  this  fatal  affair,  Messrs.  Walker 
and  Kennedy,  both  editors  of  New  Orleans  papers, 
had  met  with  pistols  at  twelve  paces,  exchanged  shots, 
and  retired  satisfied.  In  1852  E.  T.  Carroll,  editor  of 
the  Crescent,  and  J.  M.  Barbagon,  met  near  Lake 
Ponchartrain,  with  rifles,  took  two  shots  at  each  other 
without  effect  at  forty  paces,  and  then  declared  their 
difficulties  at  an  end.  In  1853,  Mr.  Cohen  (editor  of 
the  New  Orleans  Staats  Zeitung)  and  Dr.  Wintzel  (of 
the  Deutsche  Zeitung)  met  with  pistols,  and  at  the  first 
shot  Cohen  was  dangerously  wounded.  In  August, 
1843,  there  was  a  desperate  encounter  between  J. 
Hueston,  editor  of  the  Baton  Rouge  (La.)  Gazette, 
and  Alcee  Lambranche,  M.  C.  from  that  district. 
The  parties  met  at  "The  Oaks,"  with  double-bar- 
relled shotguns,  loaded  with  ball,  distance  forty  yards, 
and  Hueston  fell  mortally  wounded  at  the  fourth  fire. 
In  1825  Michael  De  Armas  was  a  notary  and  attorney 
of  New  Orleans,  and  a  representative  of  a  fine  old 
Spanish  family.  During  his  term  of  office  a  Mr. 
Jackson,  an  editor  of  a  New  Orleans  paper,  criticised 
De  Armas  one  morning  severely.  Michael  was  both 
a  French  and  Spanish  scholar,  but  spoke  very  little 
and  read  no  English.  Seventeen  years  younger  than 
Michael  was  his  brother  Felix.  The  latter  read  the 
English  as  well  as  the  French  and  Spanish  news- 
papers. Felix  perused  with  horror  the  article  re- 
ferred to,  and  in  the  afternoon  called  upon  Mr.  Jack- 
son, and  said:  "I  fear,  Mr.  Jackson,  that  you  are 

laboring   under   some  misapprehenson "    "Don't 

you  give  yourself  any  uneasiness,  Mr.  De  Armas;  I 
am  laboring  under  no  misapprehension."  "  But  you 
will  permit  me "  "No,  sir,  I  will  permit "  "I 


30S  THE  FIELD   Of  HONOR. 

was  merely  going  to  say,  Mr.  Jackson,  that  you  will 
permit  me  to  demand  that  satisfaction  which  one 
gentleman  has  a  right  to  demand  from  another." 
"Oh,  certainly;  that  is  the  custom  of  the  country, 
you  know."  Jackson  received  and  accepted  the  chal- 
lenge from  Felix  De  Armas  the  same  day,  and  upon 
the  following  morning  the  two  gentleman  met  with 
pistols,  near  the  U.  S.  Barracks,  and  Jackson  fell  dead 
at  the  first  fire.  Michael  knew  nothing  of  the  affair 
until  he  read  of  it  in  detailed  form  in  the  afternoon 
edition  of  his  favorite  French  paper. 

Hostile  meetings  among  California  journalists  were 
quite  frequent  during  the  early  days  of  the  Golden 
State.  It  was  at  a  date — among  a  people  and  in  a 
country — when,  as  Judge  Edward  McGowan  has 
many  times  truthfully  said  and  written,  "it  required 
more  bravery  to  decline  than  to  accept  a  challenge." 
The  code  was  generally  acknowledged,  declared 
Judge  McGowan;  "and  the  man  in  California  in 
those  early  days  who  refused  to  fight  when  chal- 
lenged was  considered  outside  the  pale  of  genteel 
society."  A  description  of  the  fatal  meeting  between 
Hon.  Edward  Gilbert  (at  the  time  editor-in-chief  of 
the  Daily  Alta  California)  and  General  James  W. 
Denver  (then  Secretary  of  the  State  of  California)  is 
presented  as  one  of  the  most  dramatic  and  con- 
spicuous affairs  of  this  character.  The  Legislature 
of  California,  at  its  session  of  1852,  had  passed  a  bill 
to  provide  for  the  sending  of  relief  to  overland  im- 
migrants who  might  be  in  a  destitute  condition,  or 
exposed  to  danger  from  hostile  Indians.  This  bill 
required  the  Governor,  who  had  made  the  recommen- 
dation to  the  Legislature,  to  raise  a  company  and 
supply  trains  sufficient  to  meet  the  necessities  which 


NOTED   AMERICAN  DUELS.  309 

might  exist  during  the  season.  The  Governor  had 
obeyed  these  instructions,  and  had  marched  in  front 
of  the  train  through  the  capital  of  the  State  as  it  was 
setting  out  upon  its  humane  expedition.  Mr.  Gilbert 
vigorously  opposed  .this  whole  measure,  frankly 
stating  that  he  believed  the  movement  was  designed 
for  the  purpose  of  making  political  capital,  and  that 
it  would  be  a  heavy  expense  to  the  State,  and  render 
little  aid  to  the  immigrants.  When  the  press  an- 
nounced the  departure  of  the  supply  train,  and  com- 
plimented the  Governor,  who  escorted  it  out  of 
Sacramento,  Mr.  Gilbert  ridiculed  the  parade  and 
show  that  was  made  about  it,  and  intimated  that  the 
whole  thing  was  projected  to  increase  the  Governor's 
popularity.  General  Denver,  who  was  connected 
with  the  relief  train,  and  who  was  a  personal  friend 
of  Governor  Bigler,  replied  to  Mr.  Gilbert's  articles 
by  publishing  a  card,  in  which  he  made  use  of  un- 
mistakably discourteous  language.  Mr.  Gilbert  re- 
plied, and  General  Denver  retorted.  A  challenge 
was  immediately  sent  to  General  Denver,  and  ac- 
cepted, and  rifles  selected  as  weapons.  Mr.  Gilbert 
fell  at  the  second  shot  and  expired  in  less  than  five 
minutes.  The  victim  was  a  native  of  Albany  (New 
York),  and  was  a  member  of  the  convention  to  form 
the  Constitution  for  the  State  of  California,  and  im- 
mediately after  her  admission  into  the  Union  was 
chosen  a  Representative  to  Congress.  He  was  only 
thirty-three  years  of  age  at  the  time  of  his  death,  had 
been  a  pioneer  of  the  daily  press  of  San  Francisco, 
and  was  an  earnest  if  not  brilliant  writer.  The 
author  has  carefully  perused  a  great  many  accounts 
of  this  melancholy  affair,  which  agree,  in  the  main, 
with  the  foregoing.  In  1880  General  Denver's  name 


310  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

was  mentioned  in  connection  with  the  Democratic 
nomination  for  the  Presidency,  which  prompted  the 
New  York  Herald  to  reproduce  a  description  of  this 
episode  in  Denver's  life,  which  it  is  presumed  should 
or  would  handicap  Denver  for  such  eminent  prefer- 
ment. This  article  was  replied  to  by  Mr.  W.  A. 
Cornwall,  of  San  Francisco,  as  follows,  in  a  com- 
munication to  that  paper: 

The  San  Francisco  Bulletin  republished  an  article  from 
the  Herald,  in  which  General  James  W.  Denver  is  men- 
tioned as  an  eligible  candidate  for  the  Presidency.  In  it 
reference  is  made  to  the  fact  that  at  the  time  Denver  was 
Secretary  of  State  of  California  he  engaged  in  a  duel  with 
Edward  Gilbert,  who  was  then  editor  of  the  Alt  a  California. 
The  article  is  prejudicial,  because  it  does  not  detail  the  cir- 
cumstances connected  with  that  fact  and  the  deplorable 
duel.  The  incident  of  which  it  was  the  result  was  an  article 
published  in  the  Alta  California  respecting  a  family  named 
Donner,  which  perished  en  route  in  its  attempt  to  emigrate 
overland  to  California  in  1850.  The  State,  learning  of  the 
distress  of  the  emigrants,  provided  means  for  their  relief; 
and  the  duty  of  dispensing  it  was  delegated  to  the  Secretary 
of  State.  This  was  prompt  and  humane,  but  it  was  bitterly 
criticised  and  sharply  assailed  by  Gilbert.  Denver  is  a  clear- 
headed, sound  man,  sensitive  and  brave.  He  retorted,  and 
his  retort  was  terrible.  Gilbert,  who  was  a  member  of 
Colonel  Stevenson's  New  York  regiment,  challenged  Den- 
ver, and  the  parties  went  upon  the  field.  The  weapons  were 
rifles,  at  short  range ;  and  I  assert,  as  a  witness,  that  no  man 
in  the  tide  of  all  the  centuries  ever  displayed  a  more  daunt- 
less temper  than  Denver.  He  knew  that  Gilbert  was  a 
brave  soldier,  and  that  he  was  reckoned  to  be  a  deadly  shot. 
Nevertheless,  Denver  reserved  his  fire,  and  purposely  threw 
away  his  own.  Happily,  Denver  escaped  untouched.  Every 
effort  was  then  made  by  the  seconds  and  by  mutual  friends 
for  peace ;  Gilbert  was  informed  that  his  antagonist  wished 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  31 1 

to  clasp  hands,  but  Gilbert  refused  the  request  in  terms 
which  showed  his  friends  that  he  had  determined  to  kill 
Denver.  The  principals  returned  to  their  positions. 
"  Now,"  said  Denver,  in  a  tone  I  shall  never  forget,  "  I 
must  defend  myself ;"  and  at  the  word  Gilbert  fell,  pierced 
through  the  heart.  I  assert  that  no  man  more  than  Denver 
disdains  this  deadly  mode  of  arbitration,  but  Washington 
himself  would  have  defended  his  own  life.  He  offered  it, 
like  Denver,  to  his  country.  He  would  have  defended  it  as 
a  trust  and  legacy  from  the  Creator.  He  was  an  imperson- 
ation of  the  great  thought,  Duke  et  decorum  est  pro  pair  id 
mart. 

In  1884  General  Denver's  name  was  again  men- 
tioned in  connection  with  the  Presidential  nomina- 
tion, and  Judge  Edward  McGowan,  on  the  lyth  of 
April,  1884,  wrote  as  follows  from  Washington  to  the 
San  Francisco  Evening  Post  : 

In  my  obituary  notice  of  the  late  Judge  McCorkle  I  in- 
advertently referred  to  the  duel  between  General  James 
Denver,  now  a  resident  of  this  city,  and  Edward  Gilbert, 
founder  of  the  Alta  California  of  your  city,  which  took 
place  over  thirty  years  ago  at  "The  Oaks,"  forty  miles  from 
Sacramento.  General  Denver  will  be  a  candidate  for  Presi- 
dent before  the  Democratic  National  Committee,  which  will 
meet  in  Chicago  on  the  8th  of  July,  and  the  old  story  of 
censure,  which  was  cast  upon  him  by  the  anti-duellists  and 
the  friends  of  Mr.  Gilbert  at  the  time  the  affair  came  off, 
has  been  revived  in  certain  circles  in  this  city  to  his  great 
detriment,  although  he  was  not  altogether  to  blame  for  the 
"taking  off"  of  Mr. 'Gilbert,  as  every  opportunity  was 
afforded  his  friends  by  the  friends  of  General  Denver  for  a 
settlement  of  the  difficulty  without  a  further  resort  to  arms, 
after  one  shot  had  been  exchanged  between  the  parties 
without  either  being  hit.  At  the  time  of  the  duel  General 
Denver  was  Secretary  of  State,  under  the  administration  of 
the  late  Governor  John  Bigler.  The  meeting  was  caused  by 


312  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

a  severe  article  in  the  Alfa  California,  an  opposition  press, 
criticising  the  conduct  of  the  Governor  in  appointing  Gen- 
eral Denver  to  the  head  of  the  expedition  over  the  moun- 
tains for  the  relief  of  the  emigrants.  This  was  at  the  time 
a  position  of  the  most  difficult  and  responsible  character. 
Denver  replied  to  these  strictures  in  the  Alta  in  pretty  severe 
terms,  and  Mr.  Gilbert,  being  the  responsible  editor,  sent  the 
challenge.  General  Denver  threw  his  first  shot  away — being 
an  expert  with  the  rifle,  although  his  opponent  was  no  novice 
in  the  use  of  firearms.  After  the  first  fire  a  proposition 
was  made  by  the  friends  of  the  challenged  party  to  adjust 
the  affair.  This  the  friends  of  Mr.  Gilbert  refused  to  assent 
to.  General  Denver  then  threw  off  his  coat  and  took  his 
position,  making  a  remark  to  one  of  his  friends — Dr.  Wake 
Brierly — about  "not  standing  here  all  day  to  be  shot  at." 
At  the  second  fire  Mr.  Gilbert  fell  dead — pierced  through 
the  heart  by  a  bullet  from  his  opponent's  rifle.  Mr.  Gilbert 
himself  would  not  agree  to  a  settlement,  fearing  he  would 
be  compromised.  He  had  had  a  previous  difficulty  with 
John  Nugent,  editor  of  the  San  Francisco  Herald,  and  the 
affair  was  adjusted  without  resorting  to  the  field  of  honor, 
and  it  was  reported  that  Mr.  Nugent  had  the  best  of  the 
settlement.  If  this  were  true,  it  was  a  wrong  settlement. 
All  adjustments  of  affairs  of  honor  should  be  made  without 
casting  a  shadow  of  doubt  upon  the  standing  of  either  party 
as  a  gentleman  and  man  of  courage.  General  Denver  was 
elected  to  Congress  from  California,  serving  in  that  body  in 
the  year  1855-6.  His  colleague  was  Colonel  Philemon  T. 
Herbert,  who  since  received  his  death-wound  at  the  battle 
of  Mansfield,  Texas,  while  in  command  of  the  Seventh 
Texas.  Denver  was  also  appointed.  Governor  of  the  Terri- 
tory of  Kansas  by  President  James  Buchanan — during 
"Border  Ruffian  "days.  His  predecessors  as  Governors  of 
that  Territory,  during  the  contests  of  the  free-State  and  pro- 
slavery  men  for  the  supremacy  in  that  Territory  in  those 
bloody  days  of  intestinal  strife,  were  Robert  J.  Walker, 
Edwin  M.  Stanton,  Colonel  John  W.  Geary,  first  Mayor  of 
San  Francisco,  and  Wilson  Shannon,  afterward  a  resident  of 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  31$ 

California.  All  of  these  men  had  wrought  faithfully,  in 
vain,  in  the  work  of  pacification,  and  had  either  thrown  up 
the  task  in  despair,  or  had  been  removed  by  the  President 
for  inefficiency.  While  Governor  of  Kansas,  Denver  held 
the  respect  of  the  free-State  men ;  and  the  late  Albert  D. 
Richardson  speaks  of  him  in  his  well-known  work,  "  Beyond 
the  Mississippi."  He  says:  "Though  a  Buchanan  Demo- 
crat, Denver  proved  more  fair  and  just  than  any  previous 
Governor  of  Kansas.  During  the  rebellion  he  won  a  Briga- 
dier-Generalship in  the  Union  service,  and  the  thriving 
metropolis  of  Colorado  still  perpetuates  his  name."  He  is 
now  President  of  the  Mexican  Veteran  Association,  and  did 
good  service  among  his  Congressional  friends  for  the  passing 
of  a  bill  for  a  pension  to  the  Mexican  veterans,  which  bill 
the  House  passed  this  session. 

John  Nugent,  who  died  in  San  Francisco  a  short 
time  ago,  fought  two  duels — one  in  1852,  with  Alder- 
man Cotter  in  Contra  Costa  County,  in  which  he  was 
severely  wounded  in  the  left  thigh  at  the  second  shot; 
and  the  other  in  1853,  near  San  Francisco,  with  Al- 
derman Hayes,  in  which  he  was  again  severely  wound- 
ed at  the  second  fire.  The  first  duel  was  fought  with 
pistols,  at  ten  paces,  and  the  second  with  rifles,  at 
twenty  paces.  Nugent  was  for  many  years  editor  of 
the  San  Francisco  Daily  Herald,  a  noted  newspaper  in 
its  day. 

In  1852  W.  H.  Carter  and  Harry  De  Courcey,  editor 
of  the  Calaveras  Chronicle,  met  in  Yolo  County  with 
pistols,  and  the  latter  was  dangerously  wounded.  Mr. 
James  A.  Avers,  State  Printer  of  California  under 
Governor  Stoneman,  in  a  contribution  to  the  Sacra- 
mento Bee  of  January  i,  1884,  writes  of  De  Courcey  as 
follows: 

Harry  De  Courcey  was  a  peculiar  character.  A  man  of  fine 
presence  and  very  dressy,  he  would  be  noticed  in  any  crowd 


314  THE  FIELD    OF  HONOR. 

for  the  remarkable  likeness  he  bore  in  the  shape  and  devel- 
opment of  his  forehead  and  in  his  facial  features  to  the  im- 
mortal bard  of  Avon.  Harry  was,  however,  more  showy 
than  substantial.  He  was  a  pretty  good  paragraph ist,  but 
lacked  depth  of  understanding  and  reach  of  thought.  He 
was,  withal,  a  great  spendthrift,  and  delighted  in  display  and 
splurge.  With  all  his  faults  he  was  a  splendid  fellow  and  a 
man  of  nerve.  He  fought  a  desperate  duel  in  Washington, 
Yolo  county,  in  1852,  with  one  Carter,  who  sent  his  bullet 
clear  through  De  Courcey's  abdomen.  Fortunately,  Harry's 
second,  Ed.  Kemble,  of  the  Alt  a  California,  was  a  shrewd 
manager  of  such  affairs,  and  had  had  great  experience  with 
the  duello.  When  Harry  asked  him  to  act,  he  consented  to 
do  so  on  the  condition  that  he  would  throw  himself  entirely 
into  his  hands.  De  Courcey  agreed,  and  Kemble  shut  his 
man  up  in  a  room.  He  then  entered  into  a  dilatory  corre- 
spondence with  the  opposite  party,  so  as  to  gain  time  to  get 
his  man  in  condition.  Two  days  were  consumed  in  sparring 
between  the  seconds  before  the  affair  came  off,  and  when  it 
did  take  place  Carter's  bullet,  as  before  stated,  made  a  hole 
clear  through  De  Courcey's  body.  When  I  got  to  the 
wounded  man's  bedside,  about  two  days  after  the  affair,  I 
was  not  only  astonished  to  find  him  alive  after  the  terrible 
wound  he  had  received,  but  amazed  to  see  him  in  jovial 
spirits.  I  could  not  believe  my  eyes  when  I  looked  at  the 
ugly  aperture  and  beheld  the  pleased,  confident,  self-satisfied 
countenance  of  the  victim.  To  my  remark  that  I  feared  it 
was  all  day  with  him,  he  ridiculed  the  idea  and  fairly 
laughed  at  me.  Of  course  I  went  away  in  the  belief  that  he 
was  near  his  end,  and  that  the  surgeons  were  merely  keep- 
ing up  his  spirits  with  stimulants.  I  came  over  to  Sacra- 
mento and  found  Kemble.  I  asked  him  what  he  thought  of 
Harry's  chances.  He  coolly  replied  that  he  was  all  right  and 
would  get  well.  "  But,"  I  said,  "he  is  shot  clear  through  the 
bowels,  and  a  man  so  shot  cannot  live."  "  In  most  cases," 
he  said,  "  that  would  be  true.  But  in  De  Courcey's  case  it  is 
different."  He  then  went  on  to  explain  that  he  had,  during 
the  two  days'  negotiations,  kept  his  man  closely  locked  in 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  31$ 

his  room,  and  had  only  allowed  him  a  little  tea  and  toast  at 
very  long  intervals.  The  result  was  he  went  on  the  field 
with  an  empty  stomach,  and  the  bullet  passed  through  be- 
tween the  intestines  without  cutting  any  of  them.  Kemble's 
care  saved  Harry's  life ;  for  he  soon  recovered,  and  lived  for 
years  afterward  in  excellent  health. 

In  1854  Frank  Washington  (of  the  San  Francisco 
Times  and  Transcript)  and  C.  A.  Washburn  (since 
Minister  to  Paraguay)  met  with  rifles,  at  forty  paces, 
and  the  latter  was  severely  wounded  at  the  second 
fire.  In  1851  Will  Hicks  Graham  and  S.  Frank 
Lemon,  a  San  Francisco  editor,  met  near  Benicia 
with  pistols,  and  Lemon  was  badly  wounded  at  the 
second  shot.  Shortly  after  this  affair  Graham  and 
William  Walker,  the  "  gray-eyed  man  of  destiny" — as 
the  famous  filibuster  was  often  called — (then  an  attache 
of  the  San  Francisco  Herald}  met  with  pistols,  and 
Walker  was  very  severely  and  dangerously  wounded. 
An  old  Californian  miner,  speaking  of  Graham,  says, 
in  the  San  Francisco  Call  of  a  late  date: 

Thar  was  true  grit  in  that  little  cuss,  and  the  biggest  rough 
in  the  Territory  gave  him  a  wide  berth.  As  fur  me,  I  know'd 
all  the  time  what  kind  of  stuff  he  was  made  of.  Maybe  I 
warn't  down  to  'Frisco  when  Hicks  fought  the  great  filibuster 
Walker.  He  was  a  youngster  then,  working  as  a  clerk  in  a 
law- office  near  the  Plazer.  Walker  had  a  newspaper,  and 
used  ter  pitch  inter  everybody  red-hot.  Nobody  liked  to 
tackle  him,  for  somehow  or  other  he  had  got  the  reputation 
of  the  gamest  man  that  ever  came  to  Californy.  Well,  one 
day  Walker's  paper  made  an  all-fired  savage  attack  on  an  old 
friend  of  little  Graham's,  who  held  an  office  there,  and  the 
youngster  went  right  off  and  writ  the  worst  kind  of  a  letter 
to  the  fighting  editor,  calling  him  a  coward,  a  liar,  and 
everything  else.  Of  course,  there  was  bound  to  be  a  fight, 
and  the  old  question  about  North  and  South  got  mixed  up 


THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

in  it,  too.  Yer  see,  Walker  was  a  regular  Southern  fire-eater, 
and  the  young  bloods  from  the  South  rallied  around  him  as 
their  champion.  When  it  was  known  that  little  Hicks  was 
to  fight  the  famous  duellist,  people  jist  smiled  fur  pity  of  the 
poor  young  feller  who  was  a-throwin'  of  his  life  away.  But 
he  fit  him  all  the  same,  and  showed  that  William  Walker 
met  his  match  when  he  met  Will  Hicks  Graham.  The  duel 
was  talked  about  all  over  town,  and  a  terrible  big  crowd 
went  out  to  see  the  fun.  Walker  was  jist  as  game  as 
Graham,  but  he  couldn't  shoot  worth  a  cent,  and  the  end  of 
it  was  that  the  Pennsylvania  boy  shot  him  so  bad  that  the 
surgeon  said  he  couldn't  live  an  hour.  But  Walker  pulled 
through,  as  you  all  know,  and  afterward  became  a  great  fili- 
buster. And  that  wasn't  the  only  fight  Hicks  Graham  had 
in  'Frisco.  Another  of  them  editor  chaps,  named  Frank 
Lemon,  got  after  him  on  the  street,  one  day,  knocked  the 
spunky  little  cuss  down,  and  shot  nearly  all  the  teeth  out 
of  his  head.  I  tell  ye,  boys,  it's  a  purty  close  call  when  a 
feller  gets  yer  down  and  then  jams  a  pistol  inter  yer  mouth 
and  teches  it  off.  Everybody  thought  it  was  all  up  with 
Graham  that  day.  But  he  got  'round  again,  although  badly 
shot  in  two  places.  And  would  ye  believe  it,  'fore  he  was 
half  well,  and  while  toting  his  left  arm  in  a  sling,  Graham 
challenged  Lemon  to  a  duel  to  the  death.  They  fought,  it 
'pears  to  me,  near  Benisha,  and  this  time  the  tables  war 
turned,  and  the  big  feller  didn't  have  everything  his  own 
way.  Like  Walker,  Lemon  was  a  brave  man,  but  he  had 
met  his  match.  By  the  terms  of  the  duel,  proposed  and  in- 
sisted upon  by  Graham,  they  were  to  fight  to  the  death.  At 
the  first  fire  nobody  was  hurt,  and  friends  tried  to  make  it 
up  betwixt  'em,  but  'twas  no  use.  Both  insisted  on  fighting, 
and  at  the  second  fire  Graham  shot  him  through  and 
through.  Dr.  Hitchcock  said  it  was  all  over  with  Frank 
Lemon,  and  so  Graham  left  the  ground.  He  got  well,  how- 
somever,  after  a  long  spell  of  sickness,  and  just  as  soon  as  he 
got  'round  agin  Graham  sent  another  challenge.  Friends  in- 
terfered with  better  luck  this  time,  and  the  trouble  between 
'em  was  patched  up. 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS. 

General  Walker,  in  later  years,  left  California,  and, 
after  stirring  up  Mexico  and  Central  America  by  his 
daring  exploits  as  a  filibuster,  perished  by  the  hands 
of  the  people  he  had  alarmed  and  whose  country  he 
had  invaded.  Frank  Lemon  went  East  when  the 
civil  war  broke  out,  and  died  fighting  gallantly  for 
the  Union  at  the  head  of  a  New  York  regiment.  As 
for  Graham,  after  a  life  full  of  excitement  and  adven- 
ture in  the  wildest  days  of  Nevada,  during  which  he 
shot  Jack  McBride  and  one  or  two  others,  he  removed 
to  Los  Angeles  and  died  there  in  peace  and  poverty. 

A  correspondent  of  the  San  Francisco  Evening  Post, 
in  alluding  to  Walker,  says  of  him: 

"  The  Gray- Eyed  Man  of  Destiny" — the  greatest  filibuster 
of  modern  times — was  a  lawyer,  and  followed  the  profession 
in  several  States.  He  also  studied  two  other  professions — 
medicine  and  divinity.  He  was  a  Tennesseean ;  small  in 
stature,  quiet  in  manner,  always  self-possessed,  and  attracted 
the  eye  chiefly  by  his  own  enormous  gray  orbs,  which  gave 
him  the  title  above.  He  was  a  born  adventurer.  Yet  was 
he  gentle  in  speech  and  subdued  in  demeanor.  His  infor- 
mation was  wide.  He  frequently  had  personal  altercations, 
and  fought  several  duels,  but  went  into  conflicts  of  every 
kind  with  phenomenal  composure.  His  habits  were  good, 
and  he  was  generally  well  liked.  A  mighty  visionary  was 
he.  His  ambition  was  to  effect  a  conquest  on  the  Isthmus 
as  a  nucleus  for  a  broad  dominion,  to  be  extended  into  Mex- 
ico and  South  America.  In  both  Honduras  and  Nicaragua 
he  was  a  conqueror.  The  land  was  his,  and  the  people  at 
his  feet,  but  Anglo-Saxon  power  overthrew  him.  After 
being  driven  out  of  Nicaragua,  he  repaired  to  New  York  to 
devise  other  plans  of  conquest.  Colonel  E.  C.  Marshall 
there  met  him,  by  chance,  under  the  gaslight.  He  was  en- 
thusiastic over  his  Honduras  scheme — said  that  it  dwarfed 
all  his  former  plans.  He  was  going  to  establish  a  great  re- 
public between  the  continents.  It  is  believed  by  those  who 


318  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

knew  him  that  had  he  succeeded  in  establishing  his  power  he 
would  have  been  a  wise  and  beneficent  ruler.  His  political 
knowledge  was  great.  General  Walker  had  all  Europe  and 
half  of  America  against  him.  He  had  not  been  long  in  Hon- 
duras when  the  forces  from  a  British  fleet,  well  knowing 
that  Uncle  Sam  would  interfere,  captured  him  and  turned 
him  over  to  the  native  Honduras  authorities.  He  was 
promptly  shot.  The  fate  of  Walker  was  that  of  Henry  A. 
Crabbe  and  State  Senator  McCoun,  two  lawyers  of  this 
State,  who  led  an  expedition  into  Sonora,  Mexico,  in  1857. 
Crabbe  was  from  Tennessee,  and  practised  law  in  Stockton. 
He  was  one  term  senator  from  San  Joaquin.  His  name, 
which  was  that  of  his  father,  once  prominent  at  the  Tennes- 
see bar,  was  before  the  Know  Nothing  caucus  with  those  of 
Foote  and  Ferguson  for  United  States  Senator.  McCoun 
was  in  the  Senate  from  Contra  Costa  County.  He  was  a 
Kentuckian.  They  entered  Sonora  with  a  few  hundred  men, 
relying  upon  an  uprising  of  the  people  against  the  govern- 
ment. They  were  attacked  by  a  force  largely  superior  in 
numbers  and  retreated  into  a  church,  which  was  set  on  fire 
by  a  burning  fagot  attached  to  an  arrow  shot  into  the  roof. 
Compelled  to  march  out,  they  were  captured  in  a  body,  and 
summarily  and  ignominiously  put  to  death.  They  were 
stationed  in  rows  in  front  of  their  open  graves,  hands  tied 
behind  them,  and  shot  in  the  back.  McCoun,  on  hearing  the 
command  to  fire,  quickly  faced  about,  and  received  his  bul- 
let in  his  breast.  He  was  a  man  of  commanding  form  and 
noble  spirit.  Crabbe,  who  had  a  wife,  a  Mexican  lady,  in 
California,  was  given  time  to  write  to  her  a  letter,  and  he 
was  then  beheaded. 

The  duel  in  which  young  Robert  Tevis  (brother  of 
Lloyd  Tevis,  the  famous  capitalist  of  San  Francisco) 
lost  his  life,  in  1855,  near  Downieville,  was  a  pecu- 
liarly unfortunate  affair.  Tevis  was  a  Kentuckian, 
and  had  betrayed  political  aspirations  from  a  "  Know- 
Nothing  "  standpoint.  Charles  E.  Lippincott,  a  Dem- 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  319 

ocratic  editor  from  Illinois,  burlesqued  the  would-be 
candidate  for  Congress,  who  published  a  card  in 
which  he  referred  to  Lippincott  as  a  "liar  and  a 
slanderer."  The  latter  at  once  challenged  Tevis, 
who  promptly  accepted,  of  course,  and  the  result 
was  that  the  two  gentlemen  met  soon  afterward 
with  double-barrelled  shotguns,  carrying  ounce  balls, 
distance  forty  yards,  and  that  at  the  given  word  both 
fired  at  the  same  time,  the  bullet  from  Lippincott's 
weapon  going  directly  through  his  antagonist's  heart, 
and  the  survivor  narrowly  escaping — as  was  shown 
by  his  losing  a  large  lock  of  hair  from  the  left 
side  of  his  head.  Mr.  Calvin  B.  MacDonald  con- 
tributed a  very  touching  and  very  graphic  account 
of  this  duel  to  the  Sacramento  Record-  Union  in  1879, 
which  follows  : 

Some  time  in  1855  there  came  to  this  State  a  female 
temperance-lecturer,  Miss  Sarah  Pellet,  a  friend  qf  Lucy 
Stone  Blackwell,  Antoinette  Brown,  and  that  confederation 
of  lady  reformers.  She  was  young,  intelligent,  good-look- 
ing, and  pure,  and  will  be  kindly  remembered  by  many  who 
shall  read  this  sketch.  The  writer  of  this  was  then  con- 
ducting the  Sierra  Citizen  at  Downieville,  and  Miss  Pellet 
having  been  scurrilously  referred  to  by  certain  other  papers, 
she  there  found  defenders,  came  to  Downieville,  and  we 
became  fast  friends.  Through  her  exertions  a  large  and 
flourishing  division  of  the  Sons  of  Temperance  was  there 
established,  and  all  the  respectable  young  men  temporarily 
stopped  drinking  and  became  enthusiastic  advocates  of 
total  abstinence.  A  temperance  Fourth-of-July  celebration 
was  projected,  and  we  nominated  our  friend  Miss  Pellet  to 
make  the  oration,  and,  notwithstanding  a  strong  prejudice 
against  women  orators,  succeeded  in  procuring  her  the 
coveted  invitation.  A  short  time  before  that,  Mr.  Robert 
Tevis-, — a  promising  young  lawyer  and  a  brother  of  Lloyd 


32O  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Tevis  of  San  Francisco, — who  had  come  there  to  run  for  Con- 
gress, joined  the  Temperance  Division,  and  was  anxious  to 
make  the  speech  in  order  to  present  himself  favorably  to 
the  public.  He  was  hard  to  be  put  off,  and  was  never 
reconciled  to  the  disappointment ;  though  to  pacify  his 
opposition  to  the  lady  speaker  he  was  appointed  to  read 
the  Declaration  of  Independence,  with  the  privilege  of 
making  some  remarks  on  the  illustrious  document.  The 
glorious  Fourth  shone  brightly  on  two  or  three  thousand 
people.  The  celebration  began  with  a  salvo  of  all  the  anvils 
in  town ;  the  primitive  band  blew  the  blast  of  Freedom 
through  patriotic  brass,  and  Mr.  Tevis,  having  read,  began 
to  comment  on  the  Declaration  in  a  long  speech,  greatly  to 
the  displeasure  of  the  gallant  Sons.  In  order  to  'terminate 
his  malappropriate  oration,  the  anvils  were  set  to  firing 
with  such  a  thundering  and  consecutive  noise  that  nothing 
else  could  be  heard,  and  Mr.  Tevis,  being  very  angry,  gave 
way  for  the  orator  and  sat  down.  The  event  made  a  great 
deal  of  talk,  and  brought  the  ambitious  young  man  into 
very  unpleasant  notoriety  instead  of  fame.  The  Democratic 
party  had  procured  the  use  of  two  columns  of  the  local 
paper,  and  had  appointed  as  editor  the  Hon.  Charles  E. 
Lippincott,  State  Senator  from  Yuba  County.  Lippincott 
had  a  keen  appreciation  of  the  ludicrous,  and  as  Tevis  was 
a  Know  Nothing,  he  took  occasion  to  roast  the  unfortunate 
young  man  in  the  Democratic  corner  of  the  paper,  and  it 
created  a  great  deal  of  fun  in  the  town.  The  next  day  Mr. 
Tevis  came  to  me — I  had  no  jurisdiction  in  the  Democratic 
side  of  the  paper — and  demanded  the  publication  of  a  card 
which  pronounced  the  author  of  Lippincott's  article  "  a  liar 
and  a  slanderer."  He  was  white  with  rage  and  trembling, 
and  would  not  be  reasoned  with.  Knowing  the  nature  of 
his  antagonist  and  his  deadly  skill  with  arms,  I  tried  to  dis- 
suade Tevis  from  the  rash  and  dangerous  publication,  and 
dwelt  on  the  inevitable  consequence.  But  he  would  hear 
nothing ;  he  wanted  to  fight,  he  said,  and  would  fight  in  the 
street  or  otherwise ;  and  if  the  card  was  not  published  he 
would  consider  it  an  act  of  hostility  to  himself;  and  so  the 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  $21 

unconscious  type  gave  out  the  fatal  impress,  and  a  challenge 
from  Lippincott  followed  promptly,  and  was  as  promptly 
accepted.  The  difficulty  took  a  political  shape — Democrats 
and  Know  Nothings — though  some  leading  Democrats  did 
their  best  to  prevent  the  meeting.  Both  belligerents  be- 
longed to  the  order  of  Odd  Fellows,  but  as  neither  was  a 
member  of  the  local  lodge  no  direct  authority  could  be  im- 
posed, though  the  good  brethren  kept  in  session  all  night 
devising  means  to  prevent  the  encounter.  Several  times 
the  difficulty  was  supposed  to  be  settled,  but  as  often  it 
would  be  renewed  by  certain  chivalric  vagabonds,  who 
seemed  eager  to  see  bloodshed  when  not  flowing  from  their 
own  veins.  Morning  came ;  the  forenoon  passed.  The 
peacemakers  having  been  so  often  baffled  gave  up  their 
humane  exertions,  and  it  was  understood  that  the  fight 
would  come  off  that  afternoon.  In  the  mean  time  the  prin- 
cipals and  their  friends  had  gone  to  the  wood,  the  public  not 
knowing  when  or  where,  and  the  sheriff  was  in  pursuit. 
The  duelling-ground  had  been  selected  some  six  miles  from 
town,  on  a  flat  near  the  top  of  the  lofty  hills  of  Sierra 
County,  where  never  a  bird  sings  and  where  the  sombre  fir- 
trees  spread  their  eternal  pall;  but  when  nearly  ready  for 
their  sanguinary  proceedings  the  sheriff  and  his  posse  were 
descried  on  a  distant  eminence,  and  the  duelling-party 
moved  on  into  an  adjacent  county,  beyond  the  jurisdiction 
of  the  pursuers.  There  another  arena  was  prepared,  and 
the  great  act  of  the  tragedy  was  ready  to  come  on.  In  the 
mean  while  the  principals  had  been  away  with  their  seconds 
in  opposite  directions,  practising  with  double-barrelled  shot- 
guns, loaded  with  ball,  at  forty  yards, — the  weapons  and 
distance  agreed  on, — and  I  was  afterward  told  that  each  had 
broken  a  bottle  at  the  word.  Lippincott  was  a  low,  heavy- 
set  man  with  light  hair,  piercing  black  eyes,  deliberate  and 
resolute  in  his  speech,  and  with  that  peculiar  physical 
structure  indicating  steadiness  and  self-possession.  He  was 
the  son  of  a  clergyman  in  Illinois,  and  was  exemplary  in  his 
habits,  except  the  ordinary  drinking  of  that  time ;  was 
highly  cultivated  in  mind,  and  was  an  exceedingly  good 


322  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 

humorous  and  sentimental  writer.  He  declared  he  did  not 
wish  to  kill  his  adversary,  to  whom  he  had  never  spoken  in 
person,  did  not  want  to  fight  if  it  could  be  avoided,  but  the 
nature  of  the  public  insult  and  the  customs  of  the  time 
compelled  him  to  send  the  challenge.  During  a  previous 
winter  he  had  been  engaged  in  hunting  deer  and  bear,  and 
was  known  to  be  a  remarkably  good  woodsman.  In  making 
his  choice  of  weapons,  Tevis  unknowingly  selected  those 
with  which  his  adversary  was  most  familiar,  double- 
barrelled  shotguns  carrying  ounce  balls.  Mr.  Tevis  was  a 
tall,  spare  man,  of  a  highly  nervous  and  excitable  tempera- 
ment. He  came  from  Kentucky,  and  possessed  the  ideas  of 
chivalry  and  honor  prevailing  at  the  South,  and  was  an  ex- 
cellent sporting  marksman,  but  too  little  skilled  in  wood- 
craft to  know  that  in  shooting  down  hill  one  should  aim 
low,  else  he  will  overreach  the  mark.  He  was  possessed  of 
good  natural  abilities,  but  was  somewhat  eccentric  in  man- 
ner, and  did  not  possess  the  element  of  popularity.  In 
walking  out  with  him  on  the  evening  before  the  meeting  I 
observed  his  manner  was  abstracted  and  his  speech  confused 
and  faltering  as  he  talked  of  his  solemn  situation,  but  his 
courage  and  resolution  were  unwavering,  and  he  seemed 
absolutely  athirst  to  spill  the  blood  of  one  who  had  made 
him  the  object  of  mortifying  ridicule.  That  was  our  last 
interview,  and  his  last  night  upon  earth ;  and  the  pale 
ghost-like  face,  as  it  then  appeared  in  the  twilight  when  we 
walked  under  the  frowning  hills  and  beside  the  resounding 
river,  hangs  in  memory  to  this  day.  I  had  seen  the  bound- 
ing deer  sink  down  before  the  aim  of  his  iron-nerved  antag- 
onist, and  felt  then  that  he  was  a  dead  man  walking  the 
lonely  outskirts  of  the  world.  The  combatants  took  their 
places,  forty  yards  apart ;  the  ground  was  a  little  sloping, 
and  the  highest  situation  fell  to  the  lot  of  Tevis.  The  sun 
was  going  down  upon  the  peace  and  happiness  of  two 
families  far  away,  and  upon  a  brilliant  young  man's  ambi- 
tion and  life.  As  his  second  walked  away  he  turned 
toward  Tevis  and  laid  his  finger  on  his  own  breast,  as  an 
indication  where  to  aim,  and  Lippincott  observed  the 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  323 

gesture  and  fixed  his  eyes  on  the  same  place.  The  word 
was  given ;  both  guns  cracked  at  the  same  instant.  Tevis 
sank  down,  shot  directly  through  the  heart,  and  a  lock  of 
hair  fell  from  near  Lippincott's  ear.  The  fallen  man  had 
not  made  the  necessary  allowance  for  descending  ground, 
and  his  murderous  lead  had  passed  directly  over  his  adver- 
sary's left  shoulder,  grazing  his  face.  The  wound  was 
frightful,  as  though  it  had  been  bored  through  with  an 
auger,  and  the  ground  was  horrible  with  its  sanguine 
libation.  The  survivor  and  his  friends  took  their  departure, 
and  the  dead  man  was  temporarily  buried  in  that  lonely 
place,  which  in  the  gathering  twilight  seemed  like  the 
chosen  abode  of  the  genius  of  solitude.  On  the  following 
day  the  body  was  taken  up,  properly  enclosed,  packed  on  a 
mule  to  Downieville,  and  interred  in  the  bleak  hillside 
cemetery.  The  funeral  was  very  large  and  demonstrative, 
and  seemed  to  be  a  death-rite  performed  by  the  Know- 
Nothing  party  ;  and  although  the  duel  had  been  fair  enough, 
according  to  the  murderous  code,  the  better  class  of  citizens 
regarded  Tevis  as  the  victim  of  that  fell  and  devilish  spirit 
which  has  stained  the  history  of  our  State  with  human 
blood.  Lippincott  fled  to  Nevada ;  and  when  he  afterward 
returned  to  Downieville,  he  felt  himself  like  another  Ishmael. 
Old  friends  extended  their  hands  reluctantly,  and  then  the 
man  of  sensibility  felt  that  he  was  overshadowed  by  that 
voiceless,  noiseless,  horrible  thing  which  made  a  coward  of 
Macbeth.  Miss  Pellet,  regarding  herself  as  the  innocent 
cause  of  the  duel,  stood  courageously  by  her  friend,  visited 
him  in  his  exile,  exerted  all  her  personal  influence  to  recon- 
cile public  opinion  to  the  survivor,  and  behaved  altogether 
like  a  brave,  true-hearted  woman,  as  she  was  and  still  is  in 
her  fancied  mission  of  reform.  After  completing  his  term 
in  the  State  Senate,  Mr.  Lippincott  returned  to  his  home  in 
Illinois,  to  find  his  reverend  father  dying.  I  heard  that  his 
son's  connection  with  the  fatal  duel  broke  the  good  man's 
heart,  and  he  died.  At  the  outbreak  of  the  war  Lippincott 
joined  the  Union  armies,  distinguished  himself  in  the  battle 
by  his  reckless  daring,  and  became  a  brigadier-general. 


324  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

He  was  afterward  the  Republican  State  Auditor  of  Illinois. 
If  this  brief  sketch  should  come  to  the  attention  of  his 
personal  or  political  friends,  let  them  know  that  his  career 
in  California  was  distinguished  and  honorable ;  that  he  was 
respected  and  beloved  by  his  acquaintances,  and  that  his 
unhappy  entanglement  in  the  duel  resulted  from  his  posi- 
tion and  the  prevailing  spirit  of  border  life.  At  that  time 
a  politician  who  would  have  suffered  himself  to  be  published 
a  liar  and  a  slanderer,  without  prompt  resentment,  would 
have  been  considered  as  disgraced  by  most  of  his  fellow- 
citizens.  Mr.  Lippincott  was  an  intimate  friend  and  strong 
supporter  of  the  late  Senator  Broderick,  and  was  by  him 
regarded  as  his  ablest  advocate  and  partisan.  Miss  Pellet 
went  to  Oregon,  and  there,  while  a  gallant  settler  went  to 
pilot  and  protect  her  through  the  wilderness,  the  savages 
came  upon  and  murdered  his  family  and  burnt  his  house. 
So  did  disaster  seem  to  follow  the  poor  girl.  Afterward 
she  returned  across  the  plains  to  the  East,  and  I  have 
lately  heard  of  her  at  a  Woman  Suffrage  Convention  in 
Syracuse.  Her  Temperance  Division  at  Downieville  has 
melted  away  ;  some  of  her  cold-water  converts  are  dead ; 
others  have  been  separated  from  their  families  by  the  foul 
fiend  whom  she  almost  drove  from  the  place,  and  one 
remains  to  be  the  brief  historian  of  her  memorable  and 
melancholy  campaign.  And  so  swiftly  turns  the  whirligig 
of  time. 

In  June,  1853,  Judge  Stidger  (editor  of  the  Marys- 
ville,  Cal.,  Herald}  and  Colonel  Rust  (editor  of  the 
California  Express)  met  two  miles  south  of  Yuba  City, 
in  Sutter  County,  with  Mississippi  yagers,  at  sixty 
paces,  and  fired  twice  at  each  other  without  effect. 
Some  few  years  ago  an  eye-witness  of  this  duel  pre- 
pared a  very  elaborate  account  of  it  for  a  San  Fran- 
cisco paper,  which  entitled  the  article  "A  Clash 
between  Northern  and  Southern  Pluck."  This  ac- 
count is  presented: 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  $2$ 

In  the  early  days  of  California  the  writer  resided  in  the 
then  bustling  and  since  beautiful  city  of  Marysville.  Of 
course  he  witnessed  many  exciting  scenes.  There  was  a 
vast  mixture  of  the  tragic,  comic,  and  melodramatic,  which 
could  be  woven  by  a  master-hand  into  a  volume  of  absorbing 
interest.  The  meeting  for  mortal  combat  between  Judge 
Stephen  J.  Field  and  Judge  W.  T.  Barbour,  which,  with  the 
farcical  incidents,  is  described  by  Judge  Field  in  his  valuable 
little  book  of  reminiscences;  the  latter  judge's  long  and 
vexatious  controversy  with  Judge  Turner;  the  beating  of 
Dr.  Winters  by  Plummer  Thurston ;  the  attempt  to  kill 
Judge  O.  P.  Stidger  by  Plummer  Thurston,  just  named,  and 
Judge  Barbour — these  are  but  a  few  of  this  class  of  occur- 
rences which  agitated  Marysville  from  1850  to  1855.  It  is 
only  the  writer's  intention  now  to  narrate  the  circumstances 
of  a  duel  between  Judge  Stidger  and  Colonel  Richard  Rust, 
which  took  place  in  June,  1853,  in  Sutter  County.  Judge 
Stidger  was  then  one  of  the  editors  of  the  Marysville  Herald, 
a  Whig  paper,  while  Colonel  Rust  edited  the  Democratic 
organ  in  that  city,  the  California  Express.  The  two  gentle- 
men had  engaged  for  several  days  in  a  violent  newspaper 
war,  during  which  each  had  called  the  other  anything  but 
tender  names.  Judge  Stidger's  friends  claimed  that  he  was 
victor  in  the  war  of  words,  because  he  could  say  more  mean 
things  of  his  adversary  in  a  minute  than  the  latter  could 
think  of  in  a  day.  The  Judge  had  a  peculiar  way  of 
driving  the  steel  home  at  every  thrust,  and  his  antagonist 
was  not  able  to  return  like  for  like.  The  consequence  was 
that  the  Judge  was  invited  to  transfer  the  quarrel  to  a  field 
of  a  different  kind,  that  it  might  be  settled  in  actual  physical 
encounter  by  the  arbitrament  of  the  bullet.  He  owned  his 
printing  material,  but  was  in  debt,  and  John  C.  Fall  was  his 
endorser.  Fall  was  approached  and  asked  to  withdraw  from 
beneath  Stidger  his  sustaining  arms,  and  let  the  Herald  pass 
into  other  hands.  Fall  declining  to  do  this,  the  fight  went 
on.  Finally,  Colonel  Rust's  friends  prevailed  upon  him  to 
send  the  Judge  a  challenge  to  repair  to  the  bloody  and  his- 
toric field  of  honor.  It  will  not  be  doing  him  any  injustice, 


326  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 

perhaps,  to  say  that  they  reasoned  in  this  way.  "Judge 
Stidger  was  born  in  Ohio,  and  was  raised  to  look  upon  duel- 
ling as  a  crime.  He  won't  accept  a  challenge,  and  if  he  does 
not  he  will  be  disgraced  and  compelled  to  leave  the  coun- 
try." 

The  challenge  was  sent,  the  bearers  being  Lee  Martin  and 
Charles  S.  Fairfax,  both  now  deceased,  the  party  of  the 
second  part  receiving  it  on  Friday,  at  the  Herald  office.  It 
was  promptly  accepted,  Judge  Stidger's  reply  being  delivered 
by  Judge  Gordon  N.  Mott,  now  a  resident  of  San  Francisco. 
Subsequently  Judge  T.  B.  Reardon  (who  presided  at  the 
second  trial  of  Mrs.  Fair,  and  is  now  practising  law  at 
Oroville)  came  into  the  affair  as  a  friend  to  the  challenged 
party,  and  performed  an  important  part.  On  the  day  the 
hostile  missives  passed,  with  commendable  despatch  pistols 
for  two  and  coffee  for  six  were  provided.  Being  the  chal- 
lenged party,  Judge  Stidger  was,  under  the  code,  entitled  to 
dictate  the  kind  of  weapons  to  be  used,  and  the  distance. 
He  was  a  crack  shot  with  the  rifle.  He  chose  Buckeye 
rifles  with  set  triggers,  and  fixed  the  distance  at  sixty  paces. 
Judge  Mott  and  Colonel  Fairfax  sallied  forth  in  search  of 
the  needful  instruments  of  death.  They  could  not  find  any 
"  Buckeyes"  in  the  city,  and  the  only  two  weapons  of  the 
kind  to  be  had  were  Mississippi  yagers.  These  would 
suffice,  of  course,  if  they  were  of  equal  merit.  The  opposing 
seconds  took  them  out  and  "  tried"  them.  One  proved  to 
be  more  reliable  than  the  other.  Another  could  not  be  had. 
What  was  to  be  done?  The  seconds  determined  the  choice 
by  lot,  and  Fairfax  won  the  best  gun  for  his  principal. 
Judge  Mott  felt  bad  but  said  nothing.  It  was  agreed 
that  the  meeting  should  take  place  at  sunrise  on  Sunday 
(it  was  then  late  on  Friday),  at  any  place  in  Sutter 
County  selected  by  the  seconds  over  five  hundred  yards  from 
the  Yuba  County  line.  On  Saturday  night  the  seconds  of 
Colonel  Rust  reported  that  he  was  severely  ill,  and  asked  a 
postponement  of  the  battle  for  one  week,  which  was  granted. 
It  was  believed  by  Judge  Stidger  and  his  friends  that  this 
was  a  ruse  to  get  time  to  enable  Colonel  Rust  to  practise 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  Z27 

with  his  weapon.  Be  that  as  it  was,  the  parties  met  one 
week  from  the  time  first  appointed,  the  spot  selected  being 
a  pretty  grove  of  native  oaks,  about  two  miles  south  of 
Yuba  City,  near  the  public  road  between  that  "  city"  and  the 
celebrated  "  Hock  Farm,"  then  occupied  by  General  Sutter. 
In  addition  to  their  seconds  before  named,  Judge  Stidger 
was  accompanied  by  Dr.  McDaniel,  and  Colonel  Rust  by  his 
brother,  Dr.  Rust,  as  surgeons.  The  weed's  postponement 
had  had  the  effect  to  let  out  the  secret,  and  several  hundred 
citizens  of  Marysville  were  anxious  spectators  of  the  solemn 
scene.  The  distance  being  paced  off,  the  choice  of  position 
and  the  giving  of  the  word  were,  by  chance,  won  by  the 
seconds  of  Colonel  Rust.  It  then  looked  bad  for  Judge 
Stidger.  Judge  Mott  said  to  himself,  "  My  man  is  going  to 
get  killed  ;  Rust  has  the  best  gun  and  the  best  standpoint." 
Such  was  the  fact,  enough  to  inspire  foreboding  of  evil. 
Rust  stood  within  the  shade  of  a  large  oak-tree,  his  back  to 
the  rising  sun,  which  shone  full  in  the  face  of  Stidger.  If 
Colonel  Rust  had  not  been  practising  with  his  weapon 
during  the  preceding  week,  he  was  yet  familiar  with  its 
species,  while  Judge  Stidger  never  saw  a  Mississippi  yager 
until  he  was  handed  one  on  that  portentous  morning.  The 
writer  recalls  the  Judge's  remark  upon  taking  his  gun.  He 
was  standing  at  the  spot  marked  out  for  him,  his  base  of 
operations ;  Dr.  McDaniel  was  about  twenty  feet  to  his  left, 
the  writer  being  near  the  Doctor.  Judge  Stidger  examined 
his  gun  carefully,  and  said  to  McDaniel :  "  Doc,  what  kind 
of  a  gun  do  you  call  this  ?  I  never  saw  one  like  it  before." 
McDaniel  gave  the  weapon's  name.  "  Well,"  continued  the 
Judge,  "  the  bore  can  carry  a  half-pound  ball ;  if  I  get  hit 
there  won't  be  a  grease-spot  left  of  me."  Just  then  Judge 
Mott  approached  and  told  his  principal  to  keep  cool.  The 
reply  was :  "  Oh,  I'm  as  cool  as  a  cucumber.  I  chose 
Buckeye  rifles,"  continued  the  principal.  "  I  never  saw  a 
gun  like  this  before,  and  I  don't  know  how  to  handle  it." 
Judge  Mott  said  that  Buckeyes  of  equal  calibre  could  not  be 
found,  and  he  had  done  the  best  possible,  and  he  explained 
the  circumstances.  Immediately  after  this  the  parties  were 


328  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

instructed  how  to  hold  their  guns  until  the  word  was  given, 
how  the  word  would  be  given,  and  at  what  time  to  shoot, 
thus:  "Gentlemen,  are  you  ready?"  On  both  principals 
responding  "  Aye,"  or  "  Yes,"  these  words  would  follow ; 
"  Fire  ! — one — two — three — stop !"  A  momentary  pause 
would  follow  each  word,  and  the  principals  were  to  fire  at 
any  time  between  the  words  "  fire"  and  "  stop."  Fairfax 
gave  the  instructions,  after  which  the  combatants  were 
placed  in  position.  The  seconds  took  their  proper  places, 
and  the  surgeons  were  within  conversational  distance. 

It  was  a  scene  that  left  an  indelible  impress  on  the  mind  of 
the  beholder.  The  harmony  of  nature  and  the  antagonism 
of  men  presented  a  striking  contrast.  The  eight  com- 
prising the  two  groups  were  fine  specimens  of  manly  strength 
and  symmetry  of  form.  Their  average  age  was  about  thirty 
years.  The  Rust  party  were  all  Southern  men ;  the  Stidger 
party  comprised  two  Southerners — Reardon  and  McDaniel 
— while  Judges  Stidger  and  Mott  were  from  Ohio.  They 
stood  beneath  the  tattered  banner  of  a  -code  which  was 
hoary  with  age  and  had  reached  the  last  decade  of  its  sway 
in  American  States.  Cut  bono?  Being  near  to  Judge 
Stidger's  position  and  some  sixty  yards  from  Colonel  Rust, 
I  saw  more  of  the  former  and  necessarily  write  more  con- 
cerning his  action.  I  can  say  of  Colonel  Rust,  however, 
that  his  bearing  was  brave  and  resolute.  The  word  came, 
"  Gentlemen,  are  you  ready  ?"  Judge  Stidger  responded  in 
a  loud  tone,  "  Aye."  Immediately  afterward  followed  (I 
did  not  catch  Colonel  Rust's  response)  "  Fire  ! — one — two — 
three — stop  !"  At  the  word  "  two,"  slang-bang  went  both 
guns.  Stidger's  shot  passed  high  over  the  head  of  Rust; 
the  latter's  lodged  in  Stidger's  coat-tail  pocket,  riddling  a 
handkerchief.  [It  was  a  happy  circumstance  that  the  hand- 
kerchief caused  the  tail  of  the  coat  to  bulge  out,  as  it 
enabled  a  punster  to  exclaim  with  delight  that  the  pocket 
was  "rifled."]  "Are  you  hurt?"  inquired  Dr.  McDaniel, 
approaching  his  principal,  desiring  to  know  if  his  services 
were  needed.  "  Hurt  ?  No,"  was  the  answer.  "  Examine 
your  pockets,"  said  the  Doctor.  The  Judge  did  so,  and  re- 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  329 

marked  " That  was  a  pretty  clever  shot."  "Yes,"  replied 
the  Doctor,  "  and  now  there  must  be  no  more  foolishness. 
You  must  kill  him,  or  he  will  kill  you."  To  this  the  Judge 
answered,  "  I  do  not  want  to  kill  him.  I  don't  want  his 
blood  on  my  hands.  He  has  a  family  to  maintain,  and  I 
don't  want  to  rob  them  of  their  support."  "  That  may  be  all 
very  fine  in  theory,"  said  the  Doctor,  "  but  the  fact  is  before 
you  that  he  is  trying  to  kill  you,  and,  to  prevent  it,  you  must 
kill  him.  You  can  do  it,  if  you  will." 

Judges  Mott  and  Reardon  now  came  up,  and  said  that 
Rust  demanded  another  shot.  "  Very  well,  I  am  willing," 
said  Judge  Stidger.  The  latter  was  then  told  by  Judge 
Reardon  that  he  (Reardon)  would  leave  the  field  unless  he 
(Stidger)  promised  to  shoot  at  Rust.  The  Judge  promised. 
Judge  Mott  then  informed  him  that  his  position  at  the  first 
fire  was  awkward,  and  he  must  stand  erect ;  that  if  he  con- 
tinued to  present  so  many  angles  to  the  enemy  he  was  liable 
to  get  hurt.  This  admonition  had  good  and  immediate 
effect.  Stidger  thereafter  stood  straight  as  an  arrow,  and  at 
the  same  time  bore  himself  with  perfect  ease.  The  seconds 
having  retired  to  load  the  guns  for  the  second  fire,  Judge 
Stidger  said  to  Dr.  McDaniel,  "  I  promised  to  shoot  at 
Colonel  Rust,  but  I  did  not  promise  to  kill  him,  and  I 
won't."  The  Doctor  said,  "  You  must  kill  him,  or  he  will 
kill  you.  Your  gun  carries  up.  Shoot  for  his  legs  and  you 
will  hit  him  in  the  body.  The  gun  is  good  for  three  hun- 
dred yards,  but  at  short  range  it  carries  up."  Finally  Judge 
Stidger  said,  "  Well,  Doc,  I'll  wing  him.  I  will  shoot  for 
his  arm.  I'll  cripple  him,  and  then  he  can't  shoot  again." 
"  Yes,"  answered  the  Doctor,  "  that  would  do  if  you  had  a 
guaranty  of  your  own  life.  Supposing,  while  you  are  shoot- 
ing for  his  arm,  his  ball  should  hit  you  in  a  vital  place,  what 
then  ?"  "  Oh,"  said  the  Judge,  "  if  he  should  kill  me,  that 
would  be  the  end  of  it." 

The  Judge  was  now  handed  his  gun  and  placed  in  position 
for  the  second  fire,  with  directions  to  "  keep  cool  and  shoot 
him."  The  word  was  given.  As  before,  both  guns  went  off 
simultaneously.  My  eyes  were  intently  directed  to  Judge 


330  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Stidger,  for  I  expected  to  see  him  fall.  After  the  word 
"  stop !"  he  held  his  gun  to  his  shoulder,  and  earnestly  eyed 
his  adversary  as  though  about  to  shoot.  This  action  was 
so  interpreted  by  Colonel  Rust's  seconds,  who  called  out, 
"  Stop !  stop  !"  The  fact  was  that,  owing  to  both  guns  being 
fired  at  the  same  instant,  the  seconds  of  Rust  did  not  know 
if  Stidger  had  fired  or  not.  On  hearing  the  words  "  stop ! 
stop!"  Stidger  threw  his  gun  upon  the  ground  and  said, 
"  Doc,  this  gun  ain't  worth  a  damn.  I  don't  believe  a  man 
could  hit  a  barn-door  with  it  at  a  distance  of  six  feet.  I  had 
a  splendid  shot  at  his  arm,  and  I  got  a  pretty  good  sight 
along  the  barrel.  If  the  gun  had  been  worth  a  damn  I 
would  have  struck  his  elbow."  The  Doctor  asked,  "  Why 
didn't  you  shoot  at  his  body  ?  I  told  you  the  gun  carried 
up."  "  If  I  had  done  that,"  said  the  Judge.  "  I  would  have 
killed  him,  and  I  didn't  want  to  do  that."  '  Well,"  said  the 
Doctor,  "  if  he  demands  another  shot  what  will  you  do  ?" 
"  I  will  kill  him,"  was  the  answer ;  "  I  have  now  given  him 
two  fair  shots  at  me.  I  could  have  killed  him  if  I  had  de- 
sired to  do  so.  I  spared  his  life  because  of  his  family,  and 
because  I  did  not  want  his  blood  on  my  hands.  Now,  if  he 
isn't  satisfied  I'll  kill  him.  I  don't  want  to  do  it.  but  if  1 
must  shoot  again  1  will  end  it."  To  this  the  Doctor  replied, 
"  Now  you  are  talking  right."  The  seconds  again  came  up 
and  reported  that  Colonel  Rust  demanded  another  shot,  and 
wanted  the  distance  reduced  before  the  next  fire.  Judge 
Stidger  replied  that  his  gun  was  no  account  at  sixty  paces  ; 
he  thought  if  the  distance  was  doubled  he  would  fire  better. 
"  Gentlemen,"  said  he  to  his  seconds,  "  I  am  in  your  hands. 
Whatever  you  say  I  must  do  I  will  do.  I  only  ask  you  to 
protect  my  honor."  Judge  Reardon  replied,  "  That  we  will 
do."  Judges  Mott  and  Reardon  then  took  the  gun  and  left, 
and  met  the  opposing  seconds  on  neutral  ground.  The  four 
men,  after  guns  were  again  loaded,  appeared  to  be  in  earnest 
consultation.  The  while  the  Judge  was  pacing  back  and 
forth,  talking  with  his  physician.  The  Judge  had  got 
warmed  up,  and  was  chafing.  McDaniel  advised  him  to 
keep  cool.  "Oh,  don't  you  fear,  Doc,"  said  the  Judge.  "I 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.        .  331 

will  be  cool  enough  to  kill  that  fellow,  if  he  forces  me  to  do 
it."  Several  minutes  passed — seeming  to  the  writer  "  a  vast 
half-hour" — when  one  of  the  seconds  fired  off  a  gun,  which 
was  a  signal  that  some  arrangement  had  been  made  putting 
an  end  to  the  affair.  Judge  Stidger's  seconds  coming  back 
and  verifying  the  "  report"  of  the  gun,  he  asked,  "  How  ? 
On  what  terms?"  Judge  Reardon  answered,  "Honorably 
to  you.  I  drew  up  the  stipulations  and  saw  to  it  that  you 
are  not  compromised.  The  terms  are  honorable  to  both 
parties,  and  I  am  to  hold  the  documents."  All  the  parties 
then  left  the  field  for  the  city. 

Some  time  after  the  duel  it  was  stated  that  Judge  Stidger's 
second  shot  cut  Colonel  Rust's  hair  just  above  his  ear,  and 
that  this  it  was  that  caused  the  Colonel's  seconds  to  make 
peace.  Whether  true  or  not  the  writer  could  not  learn  to 
his  satisfaction.  He  has  often  talked  with  Colonel  Fairfax 
about  this  duel.  He  (Fairfax)  stated  that  he  had  witnessed 
many  meetings  of  the  kind  in  the  South,  where  he  was  born 
and  reared,  but  had  never  seen  two  men  stand  up  more 
manfully  to  their  work  than  those  engaged  in  this  affair. 
He  spoke  in  glowing  terms  of  Judge  Stidger  on  that  occa- 
sion, for,  he  said,  he  expected  to  see  him  wilt,  being  a  North- 
ern man,  unacquainted  with  the  code  duello.  "  People 
needn't  tell  me,"  he  said,  "  that  men  born  in  the  North  are 
cowards.  I  know  better.  It  won't  do  to  fool  with  such 
men.  They  have  pluck  and  will  die  game." 

In  1851  A.  C.  Russell,  a  San  Francisco  journalist, 
met  Captain  J.  L.  Folsom,  and  exchanged  two  shots 
without  harm  to  either,  when  Captain  Marcy,  one  of 
the  seconds,  brought  about  a  settlement  of  the  af- 
fair. Later  Russell  fought  a  bloodless  duel  with 
Governor  McDougal.  In  1851  E.  C.  Kemble  (an 
editor  of  the  Alta  California)  and  Colonel  McDougal 
went  out  to  meet  each  other  in  mortal  combat,  but 
were  arrested  on  the  field.  In  1870,  at  Los  Angeles, 
Captain  Charles  E.  Beane,  an  ex-Confederate  officer, 


332  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

and  John  Wilson,  son  of  Hon.  Benjamin  D.  Wilson, 
one  of  the  noblest  of  Californians,  met  with  pistols, 
and  Wilson  was  wounded  in  the  arm  at  the  first  fire. 
Charles  E.  Beane  died  a  few  years  ago  in  Los  An- 
geles, beloved  by  all  who  knew  him  well.  A  native 
of  Maine,  he  had  drifted  down  into  the  sunny  South 
at  the  age  of  nineteen,  and  had  found  his  way  into 
the  Confederate  army  at  the  age  of  twenty — like  hun- 
dreds of  other  Northern  boys — in  which  he  gallantly 
fought  until  the  close  of  the  war.  In  1850  W.  H. 
Carter  and  William  Walker  (both  editors)  met  near 
San  Francisco,  and  the  latter  was  slightly  wounded. 

In  June,  1842,  General  James  Watson  Webb  (editor 
of  the  New  York  Courier  and  Enquirer)  and  Hon. 
Thomas  F.  Marshall,  of  Kentucky,  met  with  pistols, 
in  Delaware,  and  the  former  was  wounded.  In  No- 
vember General  Webb  was  brought  to  trial  in  New 
York  for  leaving  the  State  with  the  intention  of  giv- 
ing or  receiving  a  challenge,  pleaded  guilty,  and  was 
sentenced  to  two  years'  imprisonment  at  Sing  Sing, 
but  received  a  pardon  from  Governor  Seward  in  a 
day  or  two  after  the  sentence.  In  1849,  in  Arkansas, 
W.  E.  Gibson  met  C.  Irving,  editor  of  the  Memphis 
Inquirer,  and  the  latter  was  dangerously  wounded  at 
the  first  fire.  In  1851  Colonel  Smythe,  an  attache  of 
the  Augusta  (Ga.)  Constitutionalist,  and  Dr.  Thomas,  a 
leading  physician  of  Augusta,  met  near  the  South 
Carolina  line  with  pistols,  and  the  editor  was  dan- 
gerously wounded  at  the  third  shot.  In  1832  Mr. 
Bynum,  editor  of  the  Greenville  (North  Carolina) 
Sentinel,  and  Mr.  Perry,  of  the  Greenville  Mountaineer 
quarrelled  for  a  long  time,  and  then  met  with  pistols, 
and  at  the  first  shot  Bynum  fell  mortally  wounded. 
In  June,  1869,  Sefior  Jose  Ferrer  de  Canto,  editor  of 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  333 

the  New  York  Cronista,  and  Sefior  Francisco  Porto, 
editor  of  La  Revolution,  became  involved  in  a  serious 
quarrel  over  the  affairs  growing  out  of  the  rebellion 
in  Cuba  at  that  time,  and  met  at  Lundy's  Lane 
(Canada),  with  pistols,  when  Sefior  Porto  received  his 
adversary's  bullet  through  both  legs  at  the  first  fire. 
On  the  8th  of  January,  1876,  James  Gordon  Bennett, 
Jr.,  of  the  New  York  Herald,  and  Fred  May,  of  New 
York,  fought  a  duel,  without  serious  consequences,  in 
Delaware.  In  1859  Mr.  Cross,  of  a  St.  Louis  paper, 
and  Lieutenant  Sylvester  L.  Mowry,  U.  S.  A.,  met 
near  Tubac  (Arizona)  with  pistols,  but  there  was  no 
casualty.  In  1866  Joseph  T.  Goodman  (then  editor 
of  the  Virginia  City  Enterprise  and  now  editor  of  the 
San  Franciscan)  and  Hon.  Thomas  Fitch  met  near 
Virginia  City  (Nevada)  with  pistols,  and  the  latter 
was  slightly  wounded. 


334  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 


CHAPTER  XVII. 
NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS— CONTINUED. 

The  Hostile  Meeting  of  Hamilton  and  Burr — The  Most  Famous 
Duel  known  in  History — Hamilton's  Opinion  of  Burr — Corre- 
spondence between  the  Illustrious  Parties — Termination  of 
Direct  Correspondence — New  Correspondence — Burr's  Chal- 
lenge to  Hamilton — The  Challenge  Accepted — Hamilton's 
"Remarks"  on  Duelling  and  hfs  Will — The  Fatal  Affair — 
Details  of  the  Duel  as  furnished  by  the  Seconds — Dr. 
Hosack's  Pathetic  Story — "Remember,  my  Eliza,  you  are  a 
Christian  " — Sabine's  Impressions — Description  of  the  Wea- 
pons used — The  Old  Hamilton  Homestead — Hamilton's 
Grave  in  Trinity  Churchyard — Hamilton's  Birth  and  Child- 
hood— His  Early  Work  and  Ambition — His  General  Career — 
His  Marriage — His  Military  and  Financial  Achievements — "  He 
Smote  the  Rock  of  the  National  Resources  and  Abundant 
Streams  of  Revenue  Gushed  Forth" — The  Career  of  Aaron 
Burr — From  a  Private  Soldier  of  the  Revolution  to  Vice- 
President  of  the  United  States — His  First  Marriage — His 
Arrest  for  High  Treason — "  Not  Guilty  under  the  Indictment 
by  any  Evidence  submitted" — Chief-Justice  Marshall's  Absence 
of  Personal  Feeling  One  of  the  Marvels  of  Legal  History — 
The  Remarkable  Man  (Burr)  as  Described  by  Ben  Parley 
Poore — The  Recollections  of  a  Lady  who  felt  the  Power  and 
Fascination  of  Burr's  Eyes. 

INSEPARABLY  connected  with  the  political  history  of 
the  United  States — above  all  other  kindred  events — 
is  that  memorable  meeting  of  Alexander  Hamilton 
and  Aaron  Burr  at  Weehawken  (New  Jersey)  oppo- 
site the  city  of  New  York,  on  Wednesday  morning, 
about  seven  o'clock,  July  n,  1804,  in  which  the  former 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  335 

received  his  antagonist's  bullet  in  a  vital  part,  and 
from  which  he  died  at  two  o'clock  Thursday  afternoon. 
No  event  of  the  kind — so  far  as  can  be  discovered  by 
the  author — in  America,  or  elsewhere,  ever  produced 
such  a  general  and  profound  sensation.  The  intelli- 
gence of  the  fall  of  the  illustrious  Hamilton,  while  it 
was  received  with  marked  feeling  in  Europe,  even, 
fell  like  a  crushing  dome  upon  the  American  people. 
New  York  City  was  paralyzed,  and  the  inhabitants  of 
the  whole  country  were  plunged  into  the  deepest 
mourning.  Great  multitudes  of  people  thronged  to 
New  York  to  witness  the  melancholy  ceremonies,  and 
to  take  part  in  the  funeral  procession — which  was 
very  large  and  very  impressive.  This  took  place  on 
Saturday,  July  14.  The  funeral  address  was  deliv- 
ered by  Gouverneur  Morris,  from  a  platform  in  front 
of  Trinity  Church,  Broadway,  in  the  presence  of 
many  thousands  of  grief-stricken  people,  among 
whom  were  four  of  the  sons  of  the  deceased,  the 
eldest  of  whom  was  sixteen  and  the  youngest  between 
six  and  seven. 

As  early  as  1790 — fourteen  years  previous  to  the 
tragic  encounter — Hamilton  and  Burr  were  politi- 
cally in  each  other's  way.  Both  were  eminent  as 
builders  of  the  republic  in  which  we  live,  and  both 
were  renowned  for  their  gallantry  and  patriotism  as 
soldiers  and  citizens.  Both  were  recognized  as 
leaders  in  the  parties  they  represented — Hamilton  of 
the  organization  known  as  the  Federalists,  and  Burr 
of  that  great  and  growing  element  called  Democracy. 
The  one  political  party  represented  the  more  elevated 
and  intelligent  classes  of  the  American  people  at 
that  time,  and  the  other  those  elements  which,  in 
later  years,  until  1860,  almost  continuously  ruled  the 


THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

country.  Hamilton  had  been  the  bosom-friend  of 
Washington,  and  Burr  the  unsustained  head  and 
front  of  the  Jeffersonian  plan.  One  had  held  the  posi- 
tions, among  others,  of  Secretary  of  the  Treasury  and 
General  of  the  Army,  and  the  other  occupied  the 
chair  of  the  Vice-President  of  the  United  States. 
Both  aspired  to  the  position  of  Chief  Magistrate  of 
the  Nation.  In  their  ambitions  they  were  alike — in 
nothing  else  were  they  alike,  unless  it  might  have 
been  in  their  personal  weaknesses.  No  Americans 
have  lived  since  who  have  been  just  like  either  of 
them  in  all  things. 

It  is  not  strange,  then,  that  Hamilton  wrote  of 
Burr  as  follows,  in  1792:  "  Burr's  integrity  as  an  in- 
dividual is  not  unimpeached.  As  a  public  man  he  is 
one  of  the  worst  sort — a  friend  to  nothing  but  as  suits 
his  interest  and  ambition.  Determined  to  climb  to 
the  highest  honors  of  the  State,  and  as  much  higher  as 
circumstances  may  permit,  he  cares  nothing  about  the 
means  of  effecting  his  purpose.  'Tis  evident  that  he 
aims  at  putting  himself  at  the  head  of  what  he  calls 
the  popular  party  as  affording  the  best  tools  for  an  am- 
bitious man  to  work  with.  Secretly  turning  liberty 
into  ridicule,  he  knows  as  well  as  most  men  how  to 
make  use  of  the  name.  In  a  word,  if  we  have  an 
embryo  Ccesar  in  the  United  States,  'tis  Burr  /" 

From  this  time  up  to  the  year  of  the  fatal  meeting 
Hamilton's  verbal  and  written  allusions  to  Burr  were 
hostile  and  frequent.  At  last,  while  expressing  an 
opinion  of  Burr  in  the  presence  of  Dr.  Charles  D. 
Cooper,  Hamilton  (so  it  was  alleged  by  Cooper)  de- 
clared that  he  "  looked  upon  Mr.  Burr  as  a  dangerous 
man,  and  one  who  ought  not  to  be  trusted  with  the 
reins  of  government." 


NOTED   AMERICAN  DUELS.  337 

This  declaration,  which  first  met  the  eye  of  Burr  in 
a  published  letter,  so  incensed  the  latter  that,  on  the 
i8th  of  June,  1804,  he  sent  Hamilton  a  note  by  hand 
of  W.  P.  Van  Ness,  which  was  as  follows: 

SIR  :  I  send  for  your  perusal  a  letter  signed  Charles  D. 
Cooper,  which,  though  apparently  published  some  time  ago, 
has  but  very  recently  come  to  my  knowledge.  Mr.  Van 
Ness,  who  does  me  the  favor  to  deliver  this,  will  point  out  to 
you  that  clause  of  the  letter  to  which  I  particularly  request 
your  attention. 

You  must  perceive,  sir,  the  necessity  of  a  prompt  and  un- 
qualified acknowledgment  or  denial  of  the  use  of  any  ex- 
pression which  would  warrant  the  assertions  of  Dr.  Cooper. 

To  this  letter  Hamilton  replied  on  the  2oth  of  the 
same  month,  as  follows: 

SIR  :  I  have  maturely  reflected  on  the  subject  of  your 
letter  of  the  i8th  inst.,  and  the  more  I  have  reflected,  the 
more  I  have  become  convinced  that  I  could  not,  without 
manifest  impropriety,  make  the  avowal  or  disavowal  which 
you  seem  to  think  necessary.  The  clause  pointed  out  by 
Mr.  Van  Ness  is  in  these  terms :  "  I  could  detail  to 
you  a  still  more  despicable  opinion  which  General  Ham- 
ilton has  expressed  of  Mr.  Burr."  To  endeavor  to  dis- 
cover the  meaning  of  this  declaration,  I  was  obliged  to 
seek  in  the  antecedent  part  of  this  letter  for  the  opinion 
to  which  it  referred,  as  having  been  already  disclosed. 
I  found  it  in  these  words  :  "  General  Hamilton  and  Judge 
Kent  have  declared  in  substance  that  they  looked  upon  Mr. 
Burr  to  be  a  dangerous  man,  and  one  who  ought  not  to  be 
trusted  with  the  reins  of  government" 

The  language  of  Dr.  Cooper  plainly  implies  that  he  consid- 
ered this  opinion  of  you  which  he  attributes  to  me  as  a  despic- 
able one ;  but  he  affirms  that  I  have  expressed  some  other, 
more  despicable,  without,  however,  mentioning  to  whom, 
when,  or  where.  Tis  evident  that  the  phrase,  "  still  more 
despicable,"  admits  of  infinite  shades,  from  very  light  to 


338  THE   FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

very  dark.  How  am  I  to  judge  of  the  degree  intended  ?  or 
how  shall  I  annex  any  precise  idea  to  language  so  indefi- 
nite ?  Between  gentlemen,  despicable  and  more  despicable 
are  not  worth  the  pains  of  distinction  ;  when,  therefore,  you 
do  not  interrogate  me  as  to  the  opinion  which  is  specifically 
ascribed  to  me,  I  must  conclude  that  you  view  it  as  within 
the  limits  to  which  the  animadversions  of  political  oppo- 
nents upon  each  other  may  justifiably  extend,  and  conse- 
quently as  not  warranting  the  idea  of  it  which  Dr.  Cooper 
appears  to  entertain.  If  so,  what  precise  inference  could 
you  draw,  as  a  guide  for  your  conduct,  were  I  to  acknowledge 
that  I  had  expressed  an  opinion  of  you  still  more  despicable 
than  the  one  which  is  particularized  ?  How  could  you  be 
sure  that  even  this  opinion  had  exceeded  the  bounds  which 
you  would  yourself  deem  admissible  between  political 
opponents  ? 

But  I  forbear  further  comment  on  the  embarrassment  to 
which  the  requisition  you  have  made  naturally  leads.  The 
occasion  forbids  a  more  ample  illustration,  though  nothing 
could  be  more  easy  than  to  pursue  it. 

Repeating  that  I  cannot  reconcile  it  with  propriety  to 
make  the  acknowledgment  or  denial  you  desire,  I  will  add 
that  I  deem  it  inadmissible  on  principle  to  consent  to  be 
interrogated  as  to  the  justness  of  the  inferences  which  may 
be  drawn  by  others  from  whatever  I  may  have  said  of  a 
political  opponent,  in  the  course  of  fifteen  years'  competi- 
tion. If  there  were  no  other  objection  to  it,  this  is  suffi- 
cient, that  it  would  tend  to  expose  my  sincerity  and  deli- 
cacy to  injurious  imputations  from  every  person  who  may 
at  any  time  have  conceived  the  import  of  my  expressions 
differently  from  what  I  may  then  have  intended,  or  may 
afterwards  recollect.  I  stand  ready  to  avow  or  disavow, 
Promptly  and  explicitly,  any  precise  or  definite  opinion  which  I 
may  be  charged  with  having  declared  of  any  gentleman. 
More  than  this  cannot  fitly  be  expected  from  me,  and 
especially  it  cannot  be  reasonably  expected  that  I  shall  enter 
into  an  explanation  upon  a  basis  so  vague  as  that  which  you 
have  adopted.  I  trust  on  more  reflection  you  will  see  the 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  339 

matter  in  the  same  light  with  me.  If  not,  I  can  only  regret 
the  circumstance  and  must  abide  the  consequences. 

The  publication  of  Dr.  Cooper  was  never  seen  by  me  till 
after  the  receipt  of  your  letter. 

Burr  again  addressed  Hamilton,  as  follows,  on  the 
2ist: 

SIR:  Your  letter  of  the  26th  instant  has  been  this  day 
received.  Having  considered  it  attentively,  I  regret  to  find 
in  it  nothing  of  that  sincerity  and  delicacy  which  you  pro- 
fess to  value. 

.  Political  opposition  can  never  absolve  gentlemen  from  the 
necessity  of  a  rigid  adherence  to  the  laws  of  honor  and  the 
rules  of  decorum.  I  neither  claim  such  privilege  nor  indulge 
it  in  others. 

The  common-sense  of  mankind  affixes  to  the  epithet 
adopted  by  Dr.  Cooper  the  idea  of  dishonor.  It  has  been 
publicly  applied  to  me  under  the  sanction  of  your  name. 
The  question  is  not,  whether  he  has  understood  the  meaning 
of  the  word,  or  has  used  it  according  to  syntax,  and  with 
grammatical  accuracy:  but,  whether  you  have  authorized 
this  application,  either  directly  or  by  uttering  expressions 
or  opinions  derogatory  to  my  honor.  The  time  "  when" 
is  in  your  own  knowledge,  but  no  way  material  to  me,  as 
the  calumny  has  now  first  been  disclosed,  so  as  to  become 
the  subject  of  my  notice,  and  as  the  effect  is  present  and 
palpable. 

Your  letter  has  furnished  me  with  new  reasons  for  requir- 
ing a  definite  reply. 

This  letter  was  answered  by  Hamilton  on  June  22, 
the  following  day,  thus: 

SIR  :  Your  first  letter,  in  a  style  too  peremptory,  made  a 
demand,  in  my  opinion,  unprecedented  and  unwarrantable. 
My  answer,  pointing  out  the  embarrassment,  gave  you  an 
opportunity  to  take  a  less  exceptionable  course.  You  have 
not  chosen  to  do  it;  but  by  your  last  letter,  received  this 


340  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

day,  containing  expressions  indecorous  and  improper,  you 
have  increased  the  difficulties  to  explanation  intrinsically 
incident  to  the  nature  of  your  application. 

If  by  a  "definite  reply"  you  mean  the  direct  avowal  or  dis- 
avowal required  in  your  first  letter,  I  have  no  other  answer 
to  give  than  that  which  has  already  been  given.  If  you 
mean  anything  different,  admitting  of  greater  latitude,  it  is 
requisite  you  should  explain. 

This  terminated  the  direct  correspondence  between 
the  principals  ;  which,  while  brief,  discloses  charac- 
teristics of  the  distinguished  parties  which  tend  to 
suddenly  elevate  Hamilton  in  the  esteem  and  admira- 
tion of  most  unprejudiced  minds.  The  attitude  of 
Hamilton  toward  Burr,  up  to  the  time  of  Burr's  let- 
ter of  the  1 8th  of  June,  was  less  noble  than  that 
of  his  illustrious  rival.  He  had  publicly  denounced 
Burr  as  unpatriotic,  unsafe,  and  unprincipled,  in 
many  places  and  at  many  times  during  fifteen  years, 
and  had  never  lost  an  opportunity  of  privately  be- 
smirching Burr's  character.  Besides,  Hamilton  had 
vindictively  opposed  Thomas  Jefferson,  the  leader  of 
the  Democracy,  and  had  at  the  same  time  intrigued 
against  John  Adams,  the  candidate  for  President  of 
his  own  organization.  He  had  violated  the  confi- 
dence reposed  in  him  by  Washington  (so  it  has  been 
alleged)  by  preserving  the  draft  of  the  Farewell 
Address,  which  he  (Hamilton)  had  written  ;  and  he 
was  undoubtedly  the  "power  behind  the  throne" 
during  Adams's  administration.  Indeed,  when  his 
despotic  career,  his  malevolent  designs,  and  his  arro- 
gant and  ambitious  projects  are  all  taken  into  un- 
impassioned  consideration,  Hamilton  looms  up  as 
certainly  the  more  dangerous  man  of  the  two,  not- 
withstanding his  long-continued  and  exasperating  at- 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  34 l 

tempts  to  dispossess  Burr  of  any  hold  he  may  have 
had  upon  the  affections  of  the  American  people. 
But  the  conciliatory,  even  if  somewhat  evasive,  tone 
of  his  answers  to  the  two  direct  letters  of  Burr — 
which  bristled  all  over  with  predetermined  hostility 
— suddenly  arrests  the  growing  sympathy  one  feels 
for  the  oft-maligned  soldier  and  patriot ;  and,  as  we 
continue  to  pursue  the  matter  to  its  tragic  and  un- 
fortunate end — embracing  Hamilton's  will  and  his 
remarks  explanatory  of  his  conduct,  his  determina- 
tion to  reserve  his  fire,  and  the  emotional  circumstan- 
ces of  his  death,  to  say  nothing  of  the  almost  fiendish 
nature  of  his  antagonist's  course  from  the  moment 
that  he  seemed  to  be  prompted  to  adopt  extreme 
measures  until  the  meeting  and  its  fatal  consequen- 
ces— we  lose  sight  altogether  of  the  vices  of  Hamil- 
ton and  the  virtues  of  Burr,  and  canonize  the  mem- 
ory of  the  one  while  we  shudder  at  the  name  of  the 
other. 

On  the  26th  of  June  a  new  correspondence  was 
opened  between  Messrs.  W.  P.  Van  Ness  and  Nathan- 
iel Pendleton  by  the  former,  who,  in  the  course  of 
his  letter,  declared  that  "  Colonel  Burr  could  see  no 
disposition  on  the  part  of  General  Hamilton  to  come 
to  a  satisfactory  accommodation  ;"  and  concluded  by 
saying:  "lam  consequently  again  instructed  to  de- 
liver you  a  message  as  soon  as  it  may  be  convenient 
for  you  to  receive  it,"  etc.  Mr.  Pendleton  replied  at 
once  that  he  had  placed  the  letter  from  Mr.  Van 
Ness  before  General  Hamilton,  who  objected  to 
Colonel  Burr's  greatly  extended  ground  of  inquiry, 
which  seemed  to  be  nothing  less  than  an  inquisition 
into  his  most  confidential  conversations,  as  well  as 
others,  through  the  whole  period  of  his  acquaintance 


342  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

with  Colonel  Burr.     Mr.  Pendleton's  letter  concluded 
as  follows: 

While  he  was  prepared  to  meet  the  particular  case  fairly 
and  fully,  he  thinks  it  inadmissible  that  he  should  be  ex- 
pected to  answer  at  large  as  to  everything  that  he  may 
possibly  have  said,  in  relation  to  the  character  of  Colonel 
Burr,  at  any  time  or  upon  any  occasion.  Though  he  is  not 
conscious  that  any  charges  which  are  in  circulation  to  the 
prejudice  of  Colonel  Burr  have  originated  with  him — ex- 
cept one  which  may  have  been  so  considered,  and  which 
has  long  since  been  fully  explained  between  Colonel  Burr 
and  himself — yet  he  cannot  consent  to  be  questioned  general- 
ly as  to  any  rumors  which  may  be  afloat  derogatory  to  the 
character  of  Colonel  Burr,  without  specification  of  the  sev- 
eral rumors,  many  of  them  probably  unknown  to  him.  He 
does  not,  however,  mean  to  authorize  any  conclusion  as  to 
the  real  nature  of  his  conduct  in  relation  to  Colonel  Burr, 
by  his  declining  so  loose  and  vague  a  basis  of  explanation, 
and  he  disavows  an  unwillingness  to  come  to  a  satisfactory, 
provided  it  be  an  honorable,  accommodation.  His  objec- 
tion is,  the  very  indefinite  ground  which  Colonel  Burr  has 
assumed,  in  which  he  is  sorry  to  be  able  to  discern  nothing 
short  of  predetermined  hostility.  Presuming,  therefore, 
that  it  will  be  adhered  to,  he  has  instructed  me  to  receive 
the  message  which  you  have  it  in  charge  to  deliver.  For 
this  purpose  I  shall  be  at  home  and  at  your  command 
to-morrow  morning  from  eight  to  ten  o'clock. 

On  the  2yth  Mr.  Van  Ness  addressed  Mr.  Pendle- 
ton  for  the  last  time,  and  enclosed  with  the  letter  a 
formal  challenge,  as  follows: 

SIR  :  The  letter  which  I  had  the  honor  to  receive  from 
you,  under  date  of  yesterday,  states,  among  other  things, 
that,  in  General  Hamilton's  opinion,  Colonel  Burr  has  taken 
a  very  indefinite  ground,  in  which  he  evinces  nothing  short 
of  predetermined  hostility,  and  that  General  Hamilton 
thinks  it  inadmissible  that  the  inquiry  should  extend  to  his 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  343 

confidential  as  well  as  other  conversations.  In  this  Colonel 
Burr  can  only  reply,  that  secret  whispers  traducing  his  fame, 
and  impeaching  his  honor,  are  at  least  equally  injurious 
with  slanders  publicly  uttered ;  that  General  Hamilton  had 
at  no  time,  and  in  no  place,  a  right  to  use  any  such  injurious 
expressions ;  and  that  the  partial  negative  he  is  disposed  to 
give,  with  the  reservations  he  wishes  to  make,  are  proofs 
that  he  has  done  the  injury  specified. 

Colonel  Burr's  request  was,  in  the  first  instance,  proposed 
in  a  form  the  most  simple,  in  order  that  General  Hamilton 
might  give  to  the  affair  that  course  to  which  he  might  be 
induced  by  his  temper  and  his  knowledge  of  facts.  Colonel 
Burr  trusted  with  confidence  that,  from  the  frankness  of  a 
soldier  and  the  candor  of  a  gentleman,  he  mrght  expect  an 
ingenuous  declaration.  That  if,  as  he  had  reason  to  believe, 
General  Hamilton  had  used  expressions  derogatory  to  his 
honor,  he  would  have  had  the  magnanimity  to  retract  them  ; 
and  that  if,  from  his  language,  injurious  inferences  had  been 
improperly  drawn,  he  would  have  perceived  the  propriety  of 
correcting  errors  which  might  thus  have  been  widely  dif- 
fused. With  these  impressions  Colonel  Burr  was  greatly 
surprised  at  receiving  a  letter  which  he  considered  as  evas- 
ive, and  which  in  manner  he  deemed  not  altogether  deco- 
rous. In  one  expectation,  however,  he  was  not  wholly  de- 
ceived, for  the  close  of  General  Hamilton's  letter  contained 
an  intimation  that  if  Colonel  Burr  should  dislike  his  refusal 
to  acknowledge .  or  deny,  he  was  ready  to  meet  the  conse- 
quences. This  Colonel  Burr  deemed  a  sort  of  defiance,  and 
would  have  felt  justified  in  making  it  the  basis  of  an  imme- 
diate message.  But  as  the  communication  contained  some- 
thing concerning  the  indefiniteness  of  the  request,  as  he 
believed  it  rather  the  offspring  of  false  pride  than  of  reflec- 
tion, and  as  he  felt  the  utmost  reluctance  to  proceed  to  ex- 
tremities while  any  other  hope  remained,  his  request  was 
repeated  in  terms  more  explicit.  The  replies  and  proposi- 
tions on  the  part  of  General  Hamilton  have,  in  Colonel 
Burr's  opinion,  been  constantly  in  substance  the  same. 

Colonel  Burr  disavows  all  motives  of  predetermined  hos- 


344  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

tility,  a  charge  by  which  he  thinks  insult  added  to  injury. 
He  feels  as  a  gentleman  should  feel  when  his  honor  is  im- 
peached or  assailed ;  and  without  sensations  of  hostility  or 
wishes  of  revenge,  he  is  determined  to  vindicate  that  honor 
at  such  hazard  as  the  nature  of  the  case  demands. 

The  length  to  which  this  correspondence  has  extended 
only  tending  to  prove  that  the  satisfactory  redress,  earnestly 
desired,  cannot  be  obtained,  he  deems  it  useless  to  offer 
any  proposition  except  the  simple  message  which  I  shall 
now  have  the  honor  to  deliver. 

Mr.  Pendleton  accepted  the  challenge,  as  was  his 
only  course,  it  would  seem.  Still,  Hamilton  un- 
doubtedly hoped  that  a  meeting  might  be  averted, 
and  so  prepared  the  following  observations  on  Mr. 
Van  Ness's  last  letter : 

Whether  the  observations  on  this  letter  are  designed 
merely  to  justify  the  result  which  is  indicated  in  the  close 
of  the  letter,  or  may  be  intended  to  give  an  opening  for 
rendering  anything  explicit  which  may  have  been  deemed 
vague  heretofore,  can  only  be  judged  of  by  the  sequel.  At 
any  rate,  it  appears  to  me  necessary  not  to  be  misunder- 
stood. Mr.  Pendleton  is  therefore  authorized  to  say,  that 
in  the  course  of  the  present  discussion,  written  or  verbal, 
there  has  been  no  intention  to  evade,  defy,  or  insult,  but  a 
sincere  disposition  to  avoid  extremities  if  it  could  be  done 
with  propriety.  With  this  view  General  Hamilton  has  been 
ready  to  enter  into  a  frank  and  free  explanation  on  any  and 
every  object  of  a  specific  nature ;  but  not  to  answer  a  gen- 
eral and  abstract  inquiry,  embracing  a  period  too  long  for 
any  accurate  recollection,  and  exposing  him  to  unpleasant 
criticisms  from,  or  unpleasant  discussions  with,  any  and 
every  person  who  may  have  understood  him  in  an  unfavor- 
able sense.  This  (admitting  that  he  could  answer  in  a  man- 
ner the  most  satisfactory  to  Colonel  Burr),  he  should  deem 
inadmissible  in  principle  and  precedent,  and"  humiliating  in 
practice.  To  this,  therefore,  he  can  never  ^ubmit.  Fre- 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  345 

quent  allusion  has  been  made  to  slanders,  said  to  be  in  cir- 
culation. Whether  they  are  openly  or  in  whispers,  they 
have  a  form  and  shape,  and  might  be  specified.  If  the 
alternative  alluded  to  in  the  close  of  the  letter  is  definitely 
tendered,  it  must  be  accepted,  the  time,  place,  and  manner 
to  be  afterward  regulated. 

This  paper  was  proffered  to  Mr.  Van  Ness  by  Mr. 
Pendleton,  but  the  former  barbarously  and  disdain- 
fully declined  to  receive  any  further  correspondence, 
remarks,  or  explanations  from  either  General  Hamil- 
ton or  his  friend,  on  the  ground  that  the  acceptance 
of  the  challenge  had  precluded  the  possibility  of  any 
additional  attempts  at  reconciliation  or  settlement. 
Preparations  for  the  duel  were  then  made  by  General 
Hamilton,  who  wrote  a  letter  on  the  5th  of  July  to  be 
given  his  wife,  in  case  of  his  fall,  and  executed  his 
will  on  the  9th,  leaving  his  entire  property,  after  the 
payment  of  all  his  debts,  to  his  wife.  On  the  even- 
ing before  the  duel  General  Hamilton  prepared  a 
paper  containing  his  opinions  of  duelling,  and  ex- 
pressive of  the  reluctance  with  which  he  obeyed  a 
custom  so  repugnant  to  his  feelings,  in  which  he 
said: 

On  my  expected  interview  with  Colonel  Burr,  I  think 
proper  to  make  some  remarks  explanatory  of  my  conduct, 
motives,  and  views.  I  was  certainly  desirous  of  avoiding 
this  interview  for  the  most  cogent  of  reasons. 

First — My  religious  and  moral  principles  are  strongly  op- 
posed to  the  practice  of  duelling ;  and  it  would  ever  give 
me  pain  to  shed  the  blood  of  a-fellow  creature  in  a  private 
combat  forbidden  by  the  laws. 

mSecondly — My  wife  and  children  are  extremely  dear  to  me, 
and  my  life  is  of  the  utmost  importance  to  them  in  various 
views. 

Thirdly — I  feel  a  sense  of  obligation  toward  my  creditors, 


34-6  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

who,  in  case  of  accident  to  me,  by  the  forced  sale  of  my 
property,  may  be  in  some  degree  sufferers.  I  did  not  think 
myself  at  liberty,  as  a  man  of  probity,  lightly  to  expose  them 
to  hazard. 

Fourthly — I  am  conscious  of  no  ill-will  to  Colonel  Burr 
distinct  from  political  opposition,  which,  as  I  trust,  has  pro- 
ceeded from  pure  and  upright  motives. 

Lastly — I  shall  hazard  much,  and  can  possibly  gain 
nothing,  by  the  issue  of  the  interview. 

But  it  was,  as  I  conceive,  impossible  for  me  to  avoid  it. 
There  were  intrinsic  difficulties  in  the  thing,  and  artificial 
embarrassments  from  the  manner  of  proceeding  on  the  part 
of  Colonel  Burr.  Intrinsic,  because  it  is  not  to  be  denied 
that  my  animadversions  on  the  political  principles,  charac- 
ter, and  views  of  Colonel  Burr  have  been  extremely  severe ; 
and  on  different  occasions  I,  in  common  with  many  others, 
have  made  very  unfavorable  criticisms  on  particular  in- 
stances of  the  private  conduct  of  this  gentleman.  In  pro- 
portion as  these  impressions  were  entertained  with  sincerity 
and  uttered  with  motives  and  for  purposes  which  might  ap- 
pear to  me  commendable,  would  be  the  difficulty  (until  they 
could  be  removed  by  evidence  of  their  being  erroneous)  of 
explanation  or  apology.  The  disavowal  required  of  me  by 
Colonel  Burr,  in  a  general  and  indefinite  form,  was  out  of 
my  power,  if  it  had  really  been  proper  for  me  to  submit  to 
be  so  questioned  ;  but  I  was  sincerely  of  opinion  that  this 
could  not  be,  and  in  this  opinion  I  was  confirmed  by  that  of 
a  very  moderate  and  judicious  friend  whom  I  consulted. 
Besides  that,  Colonel  Burr  appeared  to  me  to  assume,  in 
the  first  instance,  a  tone  unnecessarily  peremptory  and 
menacing,  and,  in  the  second,  positively  offensive.  Yet  I 
wished,  as  far  as  might  be  practicable,  to  leave  a  door  open 
to  accommodation.  This,  I  think,  will  be  inferred  from  the 
written  communications  made  by  me  and  by  my  direction, 
and  would  be  confirmed  by  the  conversations  between  Mr. 
Van  Ness  and  myself  which  arose  out  of  the  subject.  I  am 
not  sure  whether,  under  all  the  circumstances,  I  did  not  go 
further  in  the  attempt  to  accommodate  than  a  punctilious 


ATOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  347 

delicacy  will  justify.  If  so,  I  hope  the  motives  I  have  stated 
will  excuse  me.  It  is  not  my  design,  by  what  I  have  said, 
to  affix  any  odium  on  the  conduct  of  Colonel  Burr  in  this 
case.  He  doubtless  has  heard  of  animadversions  of  mine 
which  bore  very  hard  upon  him ;  and  it  is  probable  that,  as 
usual,  they  were  accompanied  with  some  falsehoods.  He 
may  have  supposed  himself  under  a  necessity  of  acting  as  he 
has  done.  I  hope  the  grounds  of  his  proceeding  have  been 
such  as  ought  to  satisfy  his  own  conscience.  I  trust,  at  the 
same  time,  that  the  world  will  do  me  the  justice  to  believe 
that  I  have  not  censured  him  on  light  grounds,  nor  from 
unworthy  inducements.  I  certainly  have  had  strong  rea- 
sons for  what  I  may  have  said,  though  it  is  possible  that  in 
some  particulars  I  may  have  been  influenced  by  miscon- 
struction and  misinformation.  It  is  also  my  ardent  wish 
that  I  may  have  been  more  mistaken  than  I  think  I  have 
been,  and  that  he,  by  his  future  conduct,  may  show  himself 
worthy  of  all  confidence  and  esteem,  and  prove  an  ornament 
and  blessing  to  the  country.  As  well  because  it  is  possible 
that  I  may  have  injured  Colonel  Burr,  however  convinced 
myself  that  my  opinions  and  declarations  have  been  well 
founded,  as  from  my  general  principles  and  temper  in  rela- 
tion to  similar  affairs,  I  have  resolved,  if  our  interview  is 
conducted  in  the  usual  manner,  and  it  pleases  God  to  give 
me  the  opportunity,  to  reserve  and  throw  away  my  first 
fire,  and  I  have  thoughts  even  of  reserving  my  second  fire,  and 
thus  giving  a  double  opportunity  to  Colonel  Burr  to  pause  and 
reflect.  It  is  not,  however,  my  intention  to  enter  into  any 
explanations  on  the  ground.  Apology,  from  principle,  I 
hope,  rather  than  pride,  is  out  of  the  question.  To  those 
who,  with  me,  abhorring  the  practice  of  duelling,  may  think 
that  I  ought  on  no  account  to  have  added  to  the  number  of 
bad  examples,  I  answer  that  my  relative  situation,  as  well  in 
public  as  private,  enforcing  all  the  considerations  which 
constitute  what  men  of  the  world  denominate  honor,  im- 
posed on  me  (as  I  thought)  a  peculiar  necessity  not  to  de- 
cline the  call.  The  ability  to  be  in  future  useful,  whether  in 
resisting  mischief  or  effecting  good,  in  those  crises  of  our 


34-8  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

public  affairs  which  seem  likely  to  happen,  would  probably 
be  inseparable  from  a  conformity  with  public  prejudice  in 
this  particular. 

As  has  been  stated,  the  duel  took  place  on  the  nth 
of  July,  1804,  the  particulars  of  which  have  gone  into 
history  on  the  strength  of  the  statements  made  by 
the  seconds  of  the  parties — Mr.  William  P.  Van  Ness 
on  the  part  of  Burr,  and  Colonel  Nathaniel  Pendleton 
on  that  of  Hamilton.  The  place  selected  for  the 
scene  of  the  duel  was  a  little  secluded  ledge  beneath 
the  heights  of  Weehawken,  and  not  far  above  the  level 
of  the  Hudson.  It  was  the  very  spot  where  Philip 
Hamilton  (the  eldest  son  of  Alexander  Hamilton) 
had  fallen  about  three  years  before.  The  parties 
went  up  the  stream  by  boat  from  New  York,  Burr 
and  his  friends  arriving  first,  by  special  arrangement. 
The  parties  being  placed,  the  word  was  given,  when 
Hamilton,  raising  himself  convulsively,  fell  forward 
on  his  face,  his  pistol  being  discharged  as  he  sank  to 
the  ground,  sending  the  ball  whizzing  through  the 
foliage  of  the  surrounding  trees.  Van  Ness  and  Burr 
immediately  hurried  to  their  boat.  Colonel  Pendle- 
ton and  Dr.  Hosack,  who  were  in  attendance,  raised 
Hamilton  into  a  sitting  posture,  when  it  was  dis- 
covered that  he  had  been  struck  in  the  right  side. 
He  was  just  able  to  articulate,  "  This  is  a  mortal 
wound, "when  he  fell  into  a  swoon.  As  he. was  car- 
ried gently  to  the  river-bank,  he  opened  his  eyes  for 
a  moment  and  said,  "  My  vision  is  indistinct." 
Later  General  Hamilton  declared  that  he  had  met 
Colonel  Burr  with  a  fixed  resolution  to  do  him  no 
harm,  and  that  he  forgave  all  that  had  happened. 
He  lingered  during  the  remainder  of  that  day,  and 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.      .  349 

the  night  following,  but  died  at  two  o'clock  on  the 
afternoon  of  the  next  day. 

The  details  of  the  duel,  as  furnished  by  the 
seconds,  Messrs.  Van  Ness  and  Pendleton,  are  as 
follows  : 

Colonel  Burr  arrived  first  on  the  ground,  as  had  been  pre- 
viously agreed.  When  General  Hamilton  arrived  the 
parties  exchanged  salutations  and  the  seconds  proceeded  to 
make  their  arrangements.  They  measured  the  distance, 
ten  full  paces,  and  cast  lots  for  the  choice  of  position,  as 
also  to  determine  by  whom  the  word  should  be  given,  both 
of  which  fell  to  the  seconds  of  General  Hamilton.  They 
then  proceeded  to  load  the  pistols  in  each  other's  presence, 
after  which  the  parties  took  their  stations.  The  gentleman 
who  was  to  give  the  word  then  explained  to  the  parties  the 
rules  which  were  to  govern  them  in  firing,  which  were  as 
follows :  The  parties  being  placed  at  their  stations,  the  sec- 
ond who  gives  the  word  shall  ask  them  whether  they  are 
ready;  being  answered  in  the  affirmative,  he  shall  say 
"  Present;"  after  this  the  parties  shall  present  and  fire  when 
they  please.  If  one  fires  before  the  other,  the  opposite 
second  shall  say,  "  One,  two,  three,  fire,"  and  he  shall  then 
fire  or  lose  his  fire.  He  then  asked  if  they  were  prepared  ; 
being  answered  in  the  affirmative,  he  gave  the  word, 
Present,  as  had  been  agreed  on,  and  both  parties  presented 
and  fired  in  succession — the  intervening  time  is  not  ex- 
pressed, as  the  seconds  do  not  precisely  agree  on  that  point. 
The  fire  of  Colonel  Burr  took  effect,  and  General  Hamilton 
almost  instantly  fell.  Colonel  Burr  then  advanced  toward 
General  Hamilton,  with  a  manner  and  gesture  that  appeared 
to  General's  Hamilton's  friend  to  be  expressive  of  regret, 
but  without  speaking  turned  about  and  withdrew,  being 
urged  from  the  field  by  his  friend  with  a  view  to  prevent  his 
being  recognized  by  the  surgeon  and  bargemen,  who  were 
then  approaching.  No  further  communication  took  place 
between  the  principals,  and  the  barge  that  carried  Colonel 
Burr  immediately  returned  to  the  city.  We  conceive  it 


35°  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

proper  to  add  that  the  conduct  of  the  parties  in  this  inter- 
view was  perfectly  proper  as  suited  the  occasion. 

Dr.  Hosack  then  tells  how  Pendleton  and  himself 
carried  the  wounded  man  to  their  boat;  and,  upon 
their  arrival  at  the  wharf,  how  they  conveyed  him  as 
tenderly  as  possible  up  to  Hamilton's  residence. 
"The  distresses  of  his  amiable  family,"  says  the 
Doctor,  "  were  such  that,  till  the  first  shock  was 
abated,  they  were  scarcely  able  to  summon  fortitude 
enough  to  yield  sufficient  assistance  to  their  dying 
friend.  Upon  our  reaching  the  house  he  became 
more  languid,  occasioned,  probably,  by  the  agitation 
of  his  removal  from  the  boat.  I  gave  him  a  little 
weak  wine  and  water.  When  he  recovered  his  feel- 
ings, he  complained  of  pain  in  his  back.  We  im- 
mediately undressed  him  and  laid  him  in  bed,  and 
darkened  the  room.  I  then  gave  him  a  large  ano- 
dyne, which  I  frequently  repeated.  During  the  first 
day  he  took  upward  of  an  ounce  of  laudanum;  and 
tepid  anodyne  fomentations  were  also  applied  to 
those  parts  nearest  the  seat  of  his  pain.  Yet  were 
his  sufferings,  during  the  whole  of  the  day,  almost 
intolerable.  I  had  not  the  shadow  of  a  hope  of  his 
recovery,  and  Dr.  Post,  whom  I  requested  might  be 
sent  for  immediately  on  our  reaching  Mr.  Bayard's 
house,  united  with  me  in  this  opinion.  General  Rey, 
the  French  consul,  also  had  the  goodness  to  invite 
the  surgeons  of  the  French  frigates  in  our  harbor,  as 
they  had  had  much  experience  in  gun-shot  wounds, 
to  render  their  assistance.  They  immediately  came; 
but,  to  prevent  his  being  disturbed,  I  stated  to  them 
his  situation,  described  the  nature  of  his  wound  and 
the  direction  of  the  ball,  with  all  the  symptoms  that 
could  enable  them  to  form  an  opinion  as  to  the  event. 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  35  l 

One  of  the  gentlemen  then  accompanied  me  to  the 
bedside.  The  result  was  a  confirmation  of  the 
opinion  that  had  already  been  expressed  by  Dr.  Post 
and  myself.  During  the  night  he  had  some  im- 
perfect sleep;  but  the  succeeding  morning  his  symp- 
toms were  aggravated,  attended,  however,  with  a 
diminution  of  pain.  His  mind  retained  all  its  usual 
strength  and  composure.  The  great  source  of  his 
anxiety  seemed  to  be  in  his  sympathy  with  his  half- 
distracted  wife  and  children.  He  spoke  to  me  fre- 
quently of  them.  *  My  beloved  wife  and  children,' 
were  always  his  expressions.  But  his  fortitude 
triumphed  over  his  situation,  dreadful  as  it  was; 
once,  indeed,  at  the  sight  of  his  children,  brought  to 
the  bedside  together,  seven  in  number,  his  utterance 
forsook  him;  he  opened  his  eyes,  gave  them  one 
look,  and  closed  them  again  till  they  were  taken 
away.  As  a  proof  of  his  extraordinary  composure  of 
mind,  let  me  add  that  he  alone  could  calm  the 
frantic  grief  of  their  mother.  '  Remember,  my  Eliza, 
you  are  a  Christian,'  were  the  expressions  with  which 
he  frequently,  with  a  firm  voice,  but  in  a  pathetic 
and  impressive  manner,  addressed  her.  His  words, 
and  the  tone  in  which  they  were  uttered,  will  never 
be  effaced  from  my  memory.  At  about  two  o'clock, 
as  the  public  well  know,  he  expired." 

With  the  exception  of  the  assassination  of  Lincoln 
and  the  deaths  of  Washington  and  Garfield,  no  public 
or  private  event  has  ever  created  the  deep  and  general 
sorrow  which  was  manifested  over  the  melancholy 
termination  of  this  most  unfortunate  affair.  Burr 
was  disfranchised  by  the  laws  of  New  York  for 
having  fought  a  duel,  and  was  indicted  for  murder  in 
New  Jersey.  The  affair  had  the  effect  of  arousing 


3  $2  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

the  public  mind  of  the  people  in  the  Northern  States 
to  a  positive  horror  of  duelling.  The  Society  of  the 
Cincinnati  took  the  question  under  consideration, 
and  General  C.  C.  Pinckney,  Vice-President  of  that 
body,  proposed  that  it  should  resolutely  set  its  face 
against  the  practice.  Mr.  Morse,  in  his  "  Life  of 
Hamilton,"  says:  "  The  city  was  not  a  safe  place  for 
Burr.  He  fled  for  his  life,  and  his  terrified  myrmi- 
dons hastened  to  avail  themselves  of  the  protection 
of  obscurity.  Never  again  could  that  blood-stained 
man  redeem  his  reputation  before  mankind,  so  in- 
finitely more  fatal  was  that  duel  to  the  survivor  than 
the  victim." 

Undoubtedly  the  survivor  .was  made  to  feel  the 
hell  that  seems  to  have  been  reserved  for  him  upon 
earth.  The  living  victim  of  that  fatal  meeting  upon 
the  banks  of  the  noble  Hudson  was  the  greater 
victim  of  the  two.  He  killed  his  opponent,  to  be 
sure,  but  he  made  him  a  god,  with  fifty  millions  of 
people  to-day  as  worshippers,  and  ingloriously  shot 
himself  into  a  loathsome  living  grave.  Sabine,  in  his 
description  of  this  duel,  says: 

The  reader  cannot  have  failed  to  notice  that,  in  the 
correspondence  between  Burr  and  Hamilton  which  pre- 
ceded the  duel,  the  cause  of  offence  is  stated  to  consist  in 
certain  expressions  uttered  by  the  latter  in  the  presence  of 
Dr.  Cooper.  But  we  are  not  to  limit  General  Hamilton's 
animadversions  to  a  single  case  or  occasion,  since  he  himself 
admits,  in  the  paper  which  contains  his  Remarks  explana- 
tory of  his  motives  and  views,  that  his  unfavorable  criti- 
cisms had  been  frequent  and  severe.  .  .  .  But  we  have  a 
right  to  condemn  Hamilton  for  accepting  the  call.  He  was 
not  a  duellist.  True,  in  his  youth,  1778,  he  acted  as  second 
in  the  combat  between  Colonel  Laurens  and  General  Lee ; 
but  we  have  his  express  declaration  that  "  his  religious  and 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  353 

moral  principles  were  strongly  opposed  to  the  practice  of 
duelling."  He  met  his  antagonist,  who,  in  his  judgment, 
was  a  corrupt  man — for  what?  Because,  to  use  his  own 
words,  "  his  relative  situation,  as  well  in  public  as  private," 
imposed  upon  him,  as  he  thought,  "a  peculiar  necessity  not 
to  decline ;"  and  because,  regarding  "  what  men  of  the 
world  denominate  honor,"  he  considered  that  "  his  ability  to 
be  in  future  useful,  whether  in  resisting  mischief  or  effecting 
good,  in  those  crises  of  our  public  affairs  which  seem  likely 
to  happen,  would  probably  be  inseparable  from  a  conformity 
with  public  prejudice  in  this  particular."  He  violated,  then, 
his  religious  and  moral  principles,  rather  than  not  conform 
to  "public  prejudice."  Hamilton — in  the  deepest  sorrow  be 
it  uttered — though  one  of  the  illustrious  of  the  world,  and 
to  live  forever  in  our  annals,  was  hardly  less  than  a  suicide. 
When  dying,  he  declared  that  "  he  had  found,  for  some  time 
past,  that  his  life  must  be  exposed  "  to  Burr ;  and  yet  he 
resolved  to  go  out  and  be  shot  down,  without  remonstrance 
or  resistance.  This  is  undeniably  true.  Without  remon- 
strance— for  "explanation  on  the  ground  was,"  he  said,  "out 
of  the  question."  Without  resistance — for  he  affirmed,  in 
his  last  hours,  to  Dr.  Hosack,  that  "  Pendleton  knew  that  he 
did  not  intend  to  fire  at"  Burr ;  to  Bishop  Moore,  that  "he 
met  him  with  a  fixed  resolution  to  do  him  no  harm ;"  and 
to  Dr.  Mason,  that  "  he  went  to  the  field  determined  not  to 
take  his  life."  An  examination  of  the  course  of  his  oppo- 
nent allows  us,  after  the  lapse  of  half  a  century,  to  repeat  an 
emphatic  remark  of  the  time,  that  he  was  a  victim  to  "a 
long  meditated  and  predetermined  system  of  hostility  on  the 
part  of  Mr.  Burr  and  his  confidential  advisers."  Burr 
arrived  first  at  the  lonely  spot  designated,  and,  calmly  di- 
vesting himself  of  his  coat,  cleared  away  the  bushes,  limbs 
of  trees,  and  other  obstructions ;  and  in  the  combat  raised 
his  arm  slowly,  and  took  deliberate  and  fatal  aim.  Nothing 
but  Hamilton's  death  would  satisfy  him.  When  abroad,  in 
1808,  he  gave  Jeremy  Bentham  an  account  of  the  duel,  and 
said  "  he  was  sure  of  bemg  able  to  kill  him  ;"  and  so,  re- 
plied Bentham,  "/  thought  it  little  better  than  a  murder" 


354  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Posterity  will  not  be  likely  to  disturb  the  judgment  of  the 
British  philosopher. 

The  weapons  used  by  Hamilton  and  Burr  are  at 
present  in  the  possession  of  a  citizen  of  Rochester 
(New  York).  For  more  than  fifty  years  they  were  in 
possession  of  the  descendants  of  Hamilton,  who  gave 
them  to  the  mother  of  the  present  possessor,  also  a 
descendant  of  Hamilton.  In  appearance  they  are 
very  formidable.  They  are  "horse-pistols"  of  Eng- 
lish manufacture,  and  are  exactly  alike,  so  far  as  an 
ordinary  observer  can  discover.  The  one  from  which 
Burr  fired  the  fatal  missile  is  marked  by  a  cross  filed 
under  the  lower  part  of  the  barrel.  They  do  not  in 
any  respect  resemble  any  modern  arm.  In  handling 
them  one  is  strongly  impressed  with  the  idea  that 
they  were  evidently  intended  for  use  in  duels  where 
the  participants  "  shot  to  kill"  and  not  to  obtain 
newspaper  notoriety  without  the  disagreeable  shed- 
ding of  blood.  Although  they  evidently  could  not 
be  manipulated  so  rapidly  as  the  modern  double- 
acting,  self-cocking  pistol,  they  are  capable  of  fatal 
execution,  as  they  carry  a  bullet  of  56  calibre.  They 
are  sixteen  inches  long,  and  are,  in  reality,  small  guns 
rather  than  pistols.  The  barrels  appear  to  be  of  the 
best  steel  then  manufactured,  and  the  weapons 
throughout  are  heavily  mounted  with  brass.  They 
are  very  carefully  finished  in  all  their  parts,  and 
were  evidently  very  expensive.  A  curious  feature  of 
these  pistols,  unknown  to  the  present  generation,  but 
remembered  by  some  of  the  older  readers  who  have 
handled  their  grandfathers'  muskets,  is  the  flint- 
locks. These,  with  their  flints  in  position,  are  intact. 
It  seems  almost  incredible,  to-day,  in  view  of  the 
advance  of  everything  pertaining  to  gunnery,  that 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  355 

men  should  risk  their  lives  on  the  spark  from  the 
flint  and  steel.  It  is  evident,  however,  from  an  ex- 
amination of  these  weapons,  that  the  flints  were  cut 
with  the  precision  of  the  face  of  a  diamond,  and  it  is 
probable  that  there  was  as  little  likelihood  of  their 
missing  fire  as  there  would  be  with  the  most  finished 
cartridge-weapon  of  the  present  day.  The  pistols 
are  "  sighted  "  with  a  view  to  the  purpose  for  which 
they  were  made,  and  in  the  hands  of  a  man  with  a 
steady  nerve  and  strong  arm  would  prove  a  very 
dangerous  weapon.  Placed  beside  one  of  these 
heavy  duelling  weapons,  an  ordinary  revolver  ap- 
peared dwarfed  into  a  toy-pistol,  and  one  of  its 
cartridges  was  almost  lost  when  dropped  into  the 
spacious  muzzle.  Aside  from  the  great  historical 
interest  attaching  to  the  weapons,  this  comparison  of 
the  almost  perfect  weapon  of  to-day  with  that  of 
eighty  years  ago,  doubtless  the  most  perfect  of  that 
day,  is  startling.  The  interval  marks  the  transi- 
tion and  growth  of  weapons  of  defence,  from  the 
clumsy  mechanism  of  flint  and  steel,  and  powder  and 
ball,  to  the  weapon  which  is  capable  of  being  dis- 
charged six  times  in  as  many  seconds,  and  reloaded 
in  a  few  additional  seconds.  The  increase  in  cer- 
tainty of  aim  and  power  of  execution  is  not,  however, 
so  obvious.  The  pistols  are  in  a  remarkable  state  of 
preservation,  and  are  apparently  in  as  good  condition 
as  when  used  for  the  last  time  that  fatal  morning  on 
the  banks  of  the  Hudson,  having  been  carefully 
preserved  and  cared  for  during  these  eighty  years. 
Such,  in  brief,  is  a  description  of  these  interesting 
relics,  the  mementoes  of  a  great  tragedy,  which  had 
much  to  do  with  moulding  the  political  events  of  the 
century  in  the  United  States.  Very  few,  and  those 


3  $6  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

only  family  friends,  have  been  aware  of  the  existence 
of  these  reminders  of  the  dark  tragedy  in  the  family, 
and  it  is  only  with  much  reluctance  that  the  possessor 
permits  any  present  reference  to  them — a  reluctance 
which  is  easily  appreciated.  It  is  the  intention  of  the 
owner  to  always  keep  them  in  the  possession  of  his 
family  and  never  allow  them  to  be  publicly  exhibited. 
One  of  the  first  objects  that  attracts  the  atten- 
tion of  a  stranger  on  his  first  visit  to  Washington 
Heights,  New  York,  is  the  old  Hamilton  homestead, 
at  Tenth  Avenue  and  One  Hundred  and  Forty-fifth 
Street.  The  house  is  a  large  frame  structure,  with  a 
series  of  wooden  columns  running  around  the  front 
and  one  side,  and  has  been  kept  in  comparatively 
good  repair  for  so  old  a  wooden  building.  It  stands 
at  the  north  end  of  a  large  tract  of  ground.  In  this 
house  Alexander  Hamilton  lived,  and  it  was  from 
here  that  he  went  forth  and  crossed  over  to  Weehaw- 
ken  on  July  n,  1804,  to  meet  Burr  in  the  unfor- 
tunate duel  which  ended  in  his  death.  At  the  south- 
east corner  of  the  old  house  thirteen  tall  trees  tower 
upward.  They  are  surrounded  by  a  wooden  fence, 
and  grow  so  closely  together  that  in  some  places 
they  seem  to  be  welded  into  one  huge  trunk.  They 
were  planted  by  Hamilton  himself,  and  were  named 
after  the  thirteen  original  States.  One  of  them, 
which  is  the  most  northern  of  the  thirteen,  early 
developed  a  tendency  to  crookedness,  and  this  the 
statesman  christened  South  Carolina.  It  is  now  a 
full-grown  tree,  but  shorter  than  its  fellows  because 
of  a  long  bend  in  the  trunk  about  ten  feet  from  the 
ground.  The  top  of  another  has  been  broken  off  and 
only  about  twenty  feet  of  the  trunk  remain.  The 
trees  are  really  the  most  interesting  part  of  the  sur- 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  357 

roundings  of  the  old  mansion,  and  they  are  visited 
almost  daily  by  strangers  and  others. 

The  remains  of  Hamilton  lie  in  the  family  church 
yard,  although  the  monument  erected  by  the  corpo- 
ration to  his  memory  is  (1883)  sufferyig  from  decay. 
The  inscription  has  become  almost  undecipherable 
and  the  pediment  is  cracked.  Some  years  ago,  when 
public  attention  was  called  to  the  matter,  Trinity 
Corporation  made  some  slight  effort  to  restore  the 
dead  patriot's  monument,  but  now  it  seems  to  have 
other  uses  for  its  money.  The  corporation  has  actu- 
ally voted  to  allow  Alexander  Hamilton,  grandson  of 
the  statesman,  to  do  the  work  it  ought  to  attend  to, 
and  have  the  inscription  restored.  The  Hamilton 
family  have  been  connected  with  the  parish  for  a 
century,  and  they,  together  with  the  public,  are  at  a 
loss  to  account  for  the  neglect.  But  Trinity  does 
things  queerly.  Nearly  thirty  years  ago,  when  there 
was  a  determined  movement  to  cut  Pine  Street 
through  Trinity  graveyard,  the  corporation  put  up  a 
brown-stone  monument  to  the  memory  of  the  un- 
known soldiers  of  the  Revolution  buried  there.  It 
was  done  rather  to  preserve  their  own  territory  than 
to  honor  the  dead  patriots.  In  an  open  space  at  the 
top  of  the  monument  it  was  designed  to  place  a 
bronze  statue  of  a  soldier  in  the  uniform  of  the 
"Old  Continentals."  But  this  part  of  the  pro- 
gramme has  never  been  carried  out.  The  space  re- 
mains empty  and  the  monument  looks  incomplete. 
However,  it  answered  its  commercial  purpose,  and 
this  was  enough,  though  it  is  not  known  that  any 
soldier  was  ever  buried  in  the  locality  covered  by  the 
brown-stone  pile. 

Alexander  Hamilton  (as  well  as  Judah  P.   Benja- 


35$  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

min,  the  father  of  George  M.  Dallas,  and  others 
quite  as  distinguished)  came  from  one  of  the  smaller 
islands  of  the  Lesser  Antilles.  "Hamilton  came 
from  Nevis,"  says  a  New  York  correspondent  of  the 
Cincinnati  Enquirer,  "  which  is  a  volcanic  island 
made  of  a  single  conical  mountain  which  rises  to  the 
height  of  2500  feet,  and  has  fertile  land  around  its 
borders,  an  area  of  only  twenty-one  square  miles, 
and  a  population  of  perhaps  10,000.  It  exports 
about  $250,000  a  year  of  sugar,  rum,  and  molasses. 
Hamilton  was  born  on  the  nth  of  January,  1757. 
His  mother  was  the  daughter  of  a  West  India  doctor 
named  Faucette.  She  was  of  French  Protestant 
origin,  and  had  first  been  married  to  a  Dane  named 
Levine,  who  is  said  to  have  been  a  Jew.  Levine  was 
rich,  and  she  hated  him  and  got  a  divorce  from  him, 
and  married  a  young  Scotchman,  who  was  a  trader 
in  the  island  of  St.  Christopher.  This  Scotchman 
(Hamilton)  made  a  bad  failure  in  business  and  never 
got  on  his  feet  again,  and  afterward  lived  obscure. 
That  is  not  to  be  wondered  at,  considering  the  small 
opportunities  in  those  islands  for  a  career.  Alex- 
ander Hamilton  left  in  the  island  of  Nevis  might 
have  been  of  no  consequence.  I  saw  people  there 
who  impressed  me  as  strong  and  brilliant,  but  they 
had  merely  colonial  opportunities,  and  in  that  hot 
climate  the  energies  of  men  soon  decay.  Hamil- 
ton's mother  died  unhappy  when  he  was  a  child;  but 
she  had  some  respectable  kin  in  the  island  of  Santa 
Cruz,  who  took  charge  of  the  orphan  boy,  who  was 
the  only  child  to  survive  her.  Hamilton  was,  there- 
fore, brought  up  in  St.  Croix,  and  his  earliest  letters 
are  dated  from  that  island.  He  wrote  one  to  a 
friend  named  Edward  Stevens  in  1769,  which  says; 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  359 

*  Ned,  my  ambition  is  prevalent,  so  that  I  contemn 
the  grovelling  condition  of  a  clerk  or  the  like,  to 
which  my  fortune  condemns  me,  and  would  willingly 
risk  my  life,  though  not  my  character,  to  exalt  my 
station.  I  wish  there  was  a  war.'  Hamilton  was  a 
good  French  as  well  as  English  scholar.  His  first 
friend  was  a  Presbyterian  preacher  at  St.  Croix. 
Though  he  despised  a  clerkship,  in  that  position  he 
developed  the  abilities  which  made  him  a  great  finan- 
cier. He  was  a  newspaper- writer;  and  a  description 
of  a  hurricane  in  the  island  of  St.  Christopher,  which 
was  published  in  one  of*  the  West  India  newspapers, 
was  talked  about  so  much  that  his  friends  concluded 
to  send  him  to  New  York  to  be  educated.  He  went 
to  school  at  Elizabeth  (N.  J.),  and  then  at  King's 
College,  in  New  York,  and  thought  he  would  be  a 
physician.  He  had  only  been  in  the  country  about  a 
year  or  two  when  he  addressed  a  public  meeting  and 
wrote  articles  for  the  New  York  newspapers  against 
the  British  Government.  His  precocity  may  be  as- 
cribed to  his  French  and  Scotch  nature,  and  to  an 
ambition  which  never  ceased.  The  French  element 
gave  him  his  brilliancy,  and  the  Scotch  his  exactness 
and  judgment." 

In  1776,  at  the  age  of  nineteen,  Hamilton  became  a 
Captain  of  artillery,  and  distinguished  himself  in 
many  battles.  In  March,  1777,  he  became  an  aid-de- 
camp to  Washington,  with  the  rank  of  lieutenant- 
colonel.  In  1780  he  married  Eliza,  a  daughter  of 
General  Philip  Schuyler,  and  shortly  afterward  was 
appointed  inspector-general.  Subsequently  he  was 
appointed  a  major-general,  and  upon  the  death  of 
Washington  became  Commander-in-Chief  of  the 
Army.  It  was  as  Secretary  of  the  Treasury,  how- 


360  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

ever,  that  he  gained  pre-eminence,  and  Webster  once 
said  of  him:  "He  smote  the  rock  of  the  national  re- 
sources, and  abundant  streams  of  revenue  gushed 
forth.  He  touched  the  dead  corpse  of  the  public 
credit,  and  it  sprung  to  its  feet.  The  fabled  birth 
of  Minerva  from  the  brain  of  Jove  was  hardly 
more  sudden  or  more  perfect  than  the  financial 
system  of  the  United  States  as  it  burst  forth  from 
the  conception  of  Alexander  Hamilton."  Mrs.  Ham- 
ilton survived  her  husband  fifty  years,  dying  in  New 
York  in  1854,  aged  ninety-seven. 

Aaron  Burr  was  the  son*  of  an  American  clergy- 
man, and  was  born  at  Newark  (N.  J.),  on  the  6th 
of  February,  1756.  He  entered  the  army  as  a  pri- 
vate soldier,  and  received  a  commission  of  major  for 
great  gallantry  and  meritorious  service  during  Ar- 
nold's expedition*  against  Quebec.  He  next  became 
an  aid-de-camp,  to  Putnam,  and  afterward  received 
a  commission  as  lieutenant-colonel,  and  was  placed 
in  command  of  his  regiment.  In  July,  1783,  he  mar- 
ried Mrs.  Prevost,  the  widow  of  a  British  officer. 
Burr  subsequently  became  a  senator,  and  afterward 
the  third  Vice-President  of  the  United  States — his 
term  closing  March  4,  1805.  He  was  arrested  for 
treason  on  February  19,  1807,  and  was  tried  in  Rich- 
mond (Va.),  the  jury  returning  a  verdict  that  **  Aaron 
Burr  is  not  proved  to  be  guilty  under  the  indictment 
by  any  evidence  submitted  to  us."  He  married 
Madame  Jumel  in  his  seventy-eighth  year,  but  was 
soon  afterward  dismissed  from  her  bed  and  board. 
Burr's  only  child,  Theodosia,  married  Governor 
Allston,  of  South  Carolina.  Burr  died,  in  destitute 
circumstances,  on  Staten  Island,  on  September  14, 
1836. 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS  361 

It  is  an  interesting  fact  that  on  the  nth  of  May, 
1884,  the  statue  of  Chief-Justice  Marshall  was  un- 
veiled in  Washington  with  appropriate  ceremony — 
the  Marshall  whose  duty  it  became  to  try  for  high 
treason  the  man  who  had  killed  his  friend  Hamil- 
ton, but  who  conducted  that  trial  with  such  an 
absence  of  personal  feeling  that  it  was  among  the 
greatest  marvels  of  our  legal  history.  He  could 
neither  be  influenced  by  his  private  grief  for  Hamil- 
ton, nor  by  Jefferson's  attempts  as  President  to 
injure  Burr,  nor  by  Burr  himself — whom  he  charged 
the  jury  to  acquit — but  whom  he  held  under  a  bond 
on  another  charge,  to  the  indescribable  rage  of  the 
slayer  of  the  eminent  Federalist. 

Ben  Perley  Poore,  in  his  charming  Reminiscences 
(1884),  says: 

Aaron  Burr  enjoyed  the  reputation  of  having  delivered 
the  most  impressive  speech  ever  uttered  in  the  capitol  when 
he  took  leave  of  the  Senate  as  its  presiding  officer.  I  have 
heard  a  senator,  who  was  present,  state  that  nearly  every  one 
was  in  tears,  and  so  unmanned  that  it  was  nearly  half  an 
hour  before  they  could  recover  themselves  sufficiently  to 
choose  a  President  pro  tempore.  The  characteristics  of 
Vice-President  Burr's  manner  appear  to  have  been  elevation 
and  dignity,  a  consciousness  of  superiority,  etc.,  nothing  of 
the  whining  adulation,  those  canting,  hypocritical  complaints 
of  want  of  talents,  assurance  of  his  endeavors  to  please  them, 
hopes  of  their  favors,  etc.  On  the  contrary,  he  told  them  ex- 
plicitly that  he  had  determined  to  pursue  a  conduct  which 
his  judgment  should  approve,  and  which  should  secure  the 
suffrage  of  his  own  conscience,  and  he  had  never  considered 
who  else  should  be  pleased  or  displeased,  although  it  was 
but  justice  on  this  occasion  to  thank  them  for  their  defer- 
ence and  respect  to  his  official  conduct,  the  constant  and 
uniform  support  he  had  received  from  every  member,  of 
their  prompt  acquiescence  in  his  decisions,  and  he  remarked 


3^2  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

to  their  honor,  that  they  had  never  descended  to  a  single 
motion  of  passion  or  embarrassment ;  and,  so  far  as  he  was 
from  apologizing  for  any  decisions  he  had  occasion  to  make, 
there  was  not  one  which,  on  reflection,  he  was  disposed  to 
vary  or  retract.  Burr  was  unquestionably  one  of  the  most 
remarkable  men  that  our  country  has  ever  produced.  The 
things  which  clouded  his  name  in  his  own  day  were  the 
suspicion  and  charge  of  treason,  and  his  duel  with  Hamil- 
ton, in  which  the  great  financier  fell.  Burr  was  a  vic- 
tim of  the  barbarous  custom  of  those  days,  and  he  killed 
a  popular  favorite.  Other  vices  cluster  around  his  name, 
but  they  cannot  present  him,  even  to  the  eye  of  moral 
judgment,  as  less  than  an  "archangel  fallen."  When  a 
boy,  residing  with  my  parents  at  the  corner  of  Madi- 
son Lane  and  Broadway,  I  used  to  see  Burr  pass  every 
morning  and  afternoon,  as  he  went  to  and  from  his  law- 
office.  Tall,  soldier-like,  and  walking  with  a  soldier-like  air, 
he  attracted  attention  as  he  passed  along,  and  people  would 
stop  and  point  him  out  to  others  after  he  had  gone  by.  One 
day  I  was  in  the  law-office  of  Allen  Day,  where  my  uncle, 
the  late  Allen  Dodge,  of  Hamilton,  was  studying  his  profes- 
sion, and  Burr  came  in  to  inquire  about  a  case  in  which  he 
was  counsel.  I  regarded  him  with  dread,  yet  I  was  fascinat- 
ed by  the  courtesy  of  his  manner,  the  pleasant  expression 
of  his  bright,  keen  eyes,  and  the  gentle  winning  tones  of  his 
voice.  He  was  at  that  time  virtually  an  outcast  from  the 
circles  in  which  he  had  once  been  a  leading  figure.  Very 
poor,  he  often  took  cases  which  other  lawyers  refused  to 
touch,  and  he  often  found  it  difficult  to  procure  the  necessi- 
ties of  life.  Yet  he  never  lost  his  dignity  and  self-respect, 
and  appeared,  amid  the  trials  and  vicissitudes  of  his  old  age, 
to  enjoy  the  peace  and  serenity  which  only  a  quiet  con- 
science can  bestow.  He  was  undoubtedly  the  first  political 
"boss"  of  the  State  of  New  York,  and  it  was  by  following 
his  advice  that  Van  Buren  passed  from  office  to  office  until 
he  became  the  President  of  the  United  States. 

During  the  latter  portion  of  1883  the  St.  Louis  Re- 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  363 

publican  published  the  following  account  of  the  recol- 
lections of  a  lady  who  once  felt  the  irresistible  power 
and  fascination  of  Burr's  piercing  eyes: 

In  New  York  City,  a  few  weeks  since,  died  Miss  Theodosia 
Burr  Davis,  in  her  seventy-seventh  year,  only  sister  of  Col- 
onel George  T.  M.  Davis,  well  known  to  some  of  the  former 
residents  of  St.  Louis  as  formerly  a  prominent  member  of  the 
Illinois  bar,  aid-de-camp  to  General  James  Shields  in  the 
Mexican  War,  and  in  1849-51  editor  of  a  newspaper  in  this 
city.  Miss  Davis  was  a  lady  of  brilliant  and  highly  cultivated 
intellect,  fine  conversational  powers,  and  remarkable  energy. 
Though  tried  by  disappointment  and  sorrow  as  few  have 
been,  she  retained  her  vivacity  and  wit  almost  to  the  last, 
while  by  a  life  which  was,  in  most  respects,  one  long  self-sac- 
rifice, she  won  and  kept  the  esteem  and  affection  of  a  large 
circle  of  relatives  and  friends.  Her  virtues,  however,  were  so 
entirely  domestic  and  private  that  the  only  excuse  for  this 
brief  notice  is  the  fact  that  she  was  indirectly  connected  with 
an  historical  personage  in  whom  the  public  is  always  interest- 
ed. The  father  of  Miss  Davis  died  young,  and  she  was  left  to 
the  guardianship  of  his  brother,  Matthew  L.  Davis,  the  inti- 
mate friend  and  biographer  of  Aaron  Burr — one  of  that  little 
band  of  devoted  adherents  who  never  abandoned  their  unfor- 
tunate chief,  and  who  were  known  in  those  days  as  "  Burr's 
Tenth  Legion."  Though  she  bore  the  name  of  his  idolized 
daughter,  and  was  the  niece  and  ward  of  a  man  so  closely 
associated  with  him,  Miss  Davis  never  saw  Burr  but  twice. 
Their  first  meeting  made  a  profound  impression  upon  her, 
as  well  it  might.  She  was  at  her  uncle's  house,  spending  a 
portion  of  a  school-vacation,  when  one  morning  when  she 
was  upstairs  he  called  to  her  to  come  down,  as  there  was  a 
visitor  who  wished  to  see  her.  For  some  reason  she  never 
could  explain  she  had  an  undefinable  dread  of  this  unknown 
visitor,  and  did  not  at  once  obey  the  summons.  It  was  re- 
peated with  emphasis,  which  put  an  end  to  further  hesita- 
tion, and  she  came  down.  Mr.  Davis  took  her  by  the  hand 
and  they  entered  the  parlor.  There  she  saw  sitting  on  the 


364  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

sofa  a  little  old  man,  dressed  in  the  fashion  of  a  past  genera- 
tion, with  hair  as  white  as  snow  and  eyes  so  lustrous  and 
piercing  that  she  could  not  resist  their  fascination.  With 
the  stately  courtesy  of  the  ancient  regime,  her  uncle  led  her 
toward  the  stranger  and  said  :  "  Colonel  Burr,  this  is  the 
child  of  whom  I  spoke.  I  need  not  tell  you  whose  name  she 
bears."  The  old  man  rose  and  grasping  both  her  hands  in 
his  held  her  at  arm's  length,  gazing  into  her  face  with  those 
marvellous  eyes  as  if  he  would  read  her  very  soul.  The  or- 
deal lasted  but  a  moment,  though  it  seemed  an  age  to  the 
timid  girl;  then  her  hands  were  dropped,  and  Burr  ex- 
claimed, in  faltering  voice:  "Take  her  away,  Matthew,  I 
cannot  stand  it !"  Once  afterward  they  met  accidentally  on 
Broadway.  She  hurried  past  without  speaking,  but  Burr 
stopped,  and  as  she  looked  round  she  saw  his  eyes  following 
in  a  long,  wistful  gaze,  as  if  they  would  draw  back  to  him 
the  bearer  of  that  beloved  name. 

The  late  General  James  Watson  Webb,  talking  of 
Aaron  Burr  three  or  four  years  ago,  said: 

I  knew  him.  He  was  a  brave  soldier  in  the  Revolutionary 
War.  He  succeeded  my  father  as  aid  on  General  Putnam's 
staff  after  the  battle  of  Bunker  Hill.  Burr  was  a  selfish 
scoundrel.  I  met  him  often  during  his  last  years.  He  used 
to  urge  Matthew  L.  Davis  to  write  his  (Burr's)  life,  but  he 
added,  only  on  one  condition — you  know  what  that  is.  Da- 
vis turned  to  me  and  explained  that  Burr  wouldn't  permit 
his  life  to  be  written  unless  the  biographer  would  agree  to 
"  tell  the  truth  about  Washington,"  by  which  Burr  meant 
abuse  him  and  deny  him  any  great  qualities,  either  as  a  man, 
a  soldier,  or  a  statesman.  Davis  would  never  consent  to  this. 
"I  won't  do  it,"  he  said  to  Burr  in  my  presence.  "Then 
you  sha'n't  write  my  life,"  responded  Burr.  The  fact  is  Burr 
never  forgave  Washington  for  refusing  to  appoint  him  Min- 
ister to  France  in  1795,  when  his  party  in  the  Senate  unani- 
mously recommended  him  for  the  distinguished  place. 
Washington  always  disliked  the  brilliant  New  Yorker,  whose 
various  qualities  were  just  the  opposite  of  his  own,  and  the 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  365 

feeling  was  naturally  reciprocal.  During  the  last  year  of  his 
life,  when  he  was  eighty-one,  Burr  withdrew  the  condition, 
but  then  he  could  not  talk  much,  and  Davis's  materials  were 
too  meagre.  "  Send  for  Webb  and  Verplanck,"  said  Burr. 
We  went  to  his  bedside.  "  You  two  write  out  all  the  ques- 
tions you  can  think  of  about  my  life,"  said  Burr,  "and  then 
come  here  and  read  them  and  I  will  answer  them."  We  did 
so,  and  the  answers  formed  the  basis  of  Davis's  biography — 
which  was  very  partial,  like  Parton's,  and  not  half  true.  One 
day  the  doctor  told  Burr  he  would  not  live  till  morning. 
Burr  turned  his  eyes  toward  us  and  said  :  "  He's  an  infernal 
old  fool.  Open  that  bureau  drawer."  It  was  opened.  "  Do 
you  see  a  letter  on  that  box  ?"  Verplanck  took  up  the  dainty 
missive.  "  It  is  from  a  lady,"  said  the  dying  gallant,  "and 
she  says  she  will  call  on  me  to-morrow.  Anybody  who 
thinks  I  will  die  with  such  an  appointment  as  that  on  hand 
doesn't  know  Colonel  Burr !"  He  was  supported  by  friends 
for  years.  He  pretended  to  practise  law,  but  he  never  prac- 
tised much.  He  had  no  sense  of  honor  in  money  matters. 
He  would  borrow  fifty  dollars  on  one  corner  and  distribute 
it  to  anybody  who  wanted  it  on  the  next  corner. 


366  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 


CHAPTER   XVIII. 

NOTED   AMERICAN   DUELS-CONTINUED. 

Fall  of  the  Illustrious  Decatur  at  Bladensburg  in  a  Duel  with 
James  Barren — The  Second  Most  Noted  Fatal  Affair  in  the 
United  States — The  Distinguished  Naval  Hero  Falls  Mortally 
and  his  Antagonist  Dangerously  Wounded  at  the  First  Fire 
— They  Exchange  Forgiveness  of  Each  Other  on  the  Bloody 
Ground — Decatur's  Last  Words:  "  I  have  never  been  your 
Enemy,  Sir" — Decatur's  Remains  in  St.  Peter's  Churchyard  in 
Philadelphia— The  Old  Decatur  Mansion  in  Washington — 
Decatur's  Other  Affairs — His  Great  Fame  and  Reputation — His 
Encounter  at  Tripoli  and  Revenge  of  the  Treacherous  Murder 
of  his  Brother,  Lieutenant  James  Decatur — Other  Affairs  of 
Honor  between  United  States  Army  and  Navy  Officers — Duels 
among  Confederates — The  Fatal  Meeting  of  Generals  Marma- 
duke  and  Walker. 

THE  fall  of  the  noble  and  chivalrous  Decatur  at 
Bladensburg,  on  March  22,  1820,  produced  a  pro- 
found sensation  throughout  the  country;  and  this 
unfortunate  affair,  in  which  the  distinguished  naval 
hero  lost  his  life,  has  been  generally  viewed  as  the 
second  most  noted  duel  in  the  United  States. 
Stephen  Decatur  and  James  Barron  were  and  had 
been  for  several  years  post-captains  in  the  American 
navy.  Barron  had  been  found  guilty  of  the  charge 
of  neglecting  his  duty  while  in  command  of  the  fri- 
gate Chesapeake  by  a  court  of  inquiry  and  court- 
martial  (upon  both  of  which  Decatur  had  served), 
and  had  been  suspended  from  the  service.  He  had 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  367 

subsequently  applied  for  restoration  of  rank,  and 
had  been  opposed  by  Decatur  from  an  honorable 
standpoint.  This  was  the  prime  cause  of  an  enmity 
which  sprung  up  and  grew  between  the  two  officers, 
and  which  was  followed  by  a  long  and  acrimonious 
correspondence  between  them  and  culminated  in  a 
hostile  meeting  in  which  Decatur  was  mortally  and 
his  antagonist  dangerously  wounded  at  the  first  fire. 
Captain  William  Bainbridge,  U.  -S.  N.,  accompanied 
Decatur  to  the  field,  and  Captain  Jesse  D.  Elliott, 
U.  S.  N.,  acted  as  second  for  Barren.  They  fought 
with  pistols,  at  eight  paces,  and  both  fired  and  fell 
together,  and  then  carried  on  a  short  conversation 
while  they  lay  on  the  ground.  What  they  said  is  not 
positively  known,  except  that  they  exchanged  for- 
giveness of  each  other.  '  Before  the  mischief  had  been 
committed,  however,  Barren  remarked  to  Decatur 
that  he  hoped  that  on  meeting  him  in  another  world 
they  would  be  better  friends  than  in  this;  to  which 
Decatur  replied,  "  I  have  never  been  your  enemy, 
sir."  The  dying  officer  was  taken  to  his  residence  in 
Washington,  near  Lafayette  Square,  where  he  ex- 
pired at  a  quarter  to  eleven  o'clock  the  same  night. 
Barren  was  also  conveyed  to  Washington,  where  he 
was  confined  by  his  wound  until  the  loth  of  April 
following,  when  he  departed  for  his  home  at  Hamp- 
ton (Virginia).  Decatur's  remains  were  taken  to 
Philadelphia  in  1844,  and  deposited  in  St.  Peter's 
Churchyard,  over  which  was  erected  a  pretentious 
tomb  and  an  Ionic  pillar  of  marble  (the  latter  capped 
by  an  American  eagle),  which  may  be  seen  by  all  visi- 
tors to  the  "  Quaker  City"  who  care  for  a  stroll  down 
to  the  southwest  corner  of  Third  and  Pine  streets. 
The  house  in  which  Decatur  died  was  afterward 


368  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

occupied  by  Mr.  Livingston  while  Secretary  of  State 
under  President  Jackson,  and  subsequently  by  Martin 
Van  Buren  while  Vice-President.  It  is  now  the  resi- 
dence of  General  E.  F.  Beale,  who  is  as  hospitable 
and  generous  as  his  mansion  is  noble  and  historic. 
The  pistols  used  by  Decatur  and  Barren  were  taken 
possession  of  by  Captain  Elliott  (Barren's  second), 
who  retained  them  until  his  death  (in  1845),  when 
they  came  into  the  possession  of  their  present  owner, 
General  W.  L.  Elliott  (Retired  List  U.  S.  A.,  and 
Vice-President  of  the  California  Safe  Deposit  and 
Trust  Company),  of  San  Francisco — a  son  of  Barren's 
second  above  named. 

Mr.  Wirt  (then  Attorney-General  of  the  United 
States),  who  knew  in  confidence  of  the  difficulty 
between  Decatur  and  Barron,  and  who  used  every 
effort  to  prevent  the  duel,  in  a  letter  to  Judge  Carr, 
dated  eleven  days  after  the  fatal  combat,  states  that 
"  Decatur  was  apparently  shot  dead;  he  revived,  how- 
ever, after  a'while,  and  he  and  Barron  had  a  parley 
as  they  lay  on  the  ground."  And  Wirt  continues: 

Doctor  Washington,  who  got  up  just  then,  says  that  it 
reminded  him  of  the  closing  scene  of  a  tragedy — Hamlet  and 
Laertes.  Barron  proposed  that  they  should  make  friends 
before  they  met  in  heaven  (for  he  supposed  they  would  both 
die  immediately).  Decatur  said  he  had  never  been  his 
enemy,  that  he  freely  forgave  him  his  death, — though  he 
could  not  forgive  those  who  had  stimulated  him  to  seek  his 
life.  One  report  says  that  Barron  exclaimed,  "Would  to 
God  you  had  said  this  much  yesterday  !"  It  is  certain  that 
the  parley  was  a  friendly  one,  and  that  they  parted  in  peace. 
Decatur  knew  he  was  to  die,  and  his  only  sorrow  was  that 
he  had  not  died  in  the  service  of  his  country. 

Mr.  Sabin,  in  his  description  of  this  duel,  declares, 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  369 

feelingly,  and,  we  think,  correctly,  that  there  was  no 
cause  for  it  whatever.     Says  Sabine: 

Decatu-r,  as  will  be  seen  in  the  correspondence,  "  dis- 
claimed all  personal  animosity  toward"  Barren.  In  his  own 
words — "  Between  you  and  myself  there  never  has  been  a 
personal  difference ;  but  I  have  entertained,  and  do  still 
entertain,  the  opinion  that  your  conduct  as  an  officer,  since 
the  affair  of  the  Chesapeake,  has  been  such  as  ought  to  for- 
ever bar  your  readmission  into  the  service."  In  this  view 
he  declares  that  he  is  sustained,  he  believes,  by  every 
officer  of  "our  grade,"  with  a  single  exception.  True, 
Barren,  in  his  letter  of  November  30,  1819,  regards  Decatur's 
course  to  be  inconsistent  with  these  declarations,  and  re- 
torts with  much  severity.  But  Decatur  constantly  main- 
tained them.  He  told  Mr.  Wirt  that  he  did  not  wish  to 
meet  Barron,  and  that  "  the  duel  was  forced  upon  him ;"  and 
it  is  said  that  he  assured  Commodore  Rodgers,  on  receiving 
the  challenge,  that  nothing  could  induce  him  to  take  the 
life  of  Barron.  On  the  day  of  his  death,  while  at  breakfast, 
remarks  Mr.  Hambleton,  "  he  was  quite  cheerful,  and  did 
not  appear  to  have  any  desire  to  take  the  life  of  his  antago- 
nist ;  indeed,  he  declared  that  he  should  be  very  sorry  to  do 
so."  To  this  evidence  we  may  add  the  reply  to  Barron  on 
the  ground  :  "  I  have  never  been  your  enemy,  sir." 

Decatur's  first  u  affair  of  honor"  was  in  1799,  while 
he  was  a  lieutenant  attached  to  the  frigate  United 
States.  He  was  at  Philadelphia  on  recruiting  ser- 
vice, and  was  deceived  by  a  party  of  men  he  had 
enlisted,  who  deserted  him  and  went  on  board  an 
India  ship.  Decatur  was  greatly  incensed,  and  for- 
mally demanded  the  deserters  of  the  first  officer  of 
the  merchantman,  who,  in  the  course  of  the  inter- 
view, insulted  him.  He  stated  the  case  to  his  father, 
who  considered  that  a  duel  was  necessary.  The 
officer  of  the  India  ship  was  asked  to  apologize.  He 
refused,  but  accepted  a  challenge.  Both,  however, 


370  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

pursued  their  ordinary  duties  for  several  days.  As 
soon  as  circumstances  would  permit,  they  met  on  the 
banks  of  the  Delaware,  at  or  near  New  Castle. 
Decatur  disclaimed  to  his  friends  any  intention  to 
inflict  a  mortal  injury,  but  wounded  his  antagonist  in 
the  hip,  as  he  said,  previous  to  the  combat,  he  would 
do,  and  escaped  himself  without  harm.  The  next 
difficulty  which  he  proposed  to  settle  by  an  appeal  to 
arms  occurred  in  1801,  while  he  served  on  board  the 
frigate  Essex,  in  the  Mediterranean.  The  officers  of 
a  Spanish  ship  of  war,  under  pretence  of  exercising 
police  duty  at  the  port  of  Barcelona,  fired  over,  and 
brought  to,  the  boats  of  the  Essex  in  passing  to  and 
from  the  shore  at  night.  Decatur,  on  being 
molested  in  this  way,  remonstrated  with  the  proper 
officer,  who  treated  him  uncourteously.  Avowing 
his  intention  to  press  the  matter  on  the  following 
day,  he  returned  to  his  own  ship.  On  repairing  to 
the  Spanish  ship,  as  intimated,  the  aggressor  was  not 
to  be  found.  Decatur,  leaving  a  hostile  message, 
went  immediately  on  shore,  but  was  unsuccessful  in 
his  search  there.  The  Spanish  Captain-General 
interfering,  and  requesting  the  aid  of  the  captain  of 
the  Essex,  a  personal  conflict  was  prevented.  His 
third  affair  was  also  in  the  Mediterranean,  but  as  the 
friend  of  Midshipman  Joseph  Bainbridge,  in  the  year 
1803,  a  description  of  which  occurs  in  Chapter  XIV. 

"Affairs  of  honor"  between  officers  of  the  United 
States  army  and  navy  were  quite  frequent  up  to  1850, 
after  which  time  they  ceased  almost  altogether.  A 
great  many  valuable  lives  were  sacrificed,  however, 
among  whom  was  Captain  Ferdinand  Louis  Ame- 
lung,  U.  S.  A.,  who  was  killed  in  Louisiana  in  1820; 
Midshipman  John  Banister,  U.  S.  N.,  in  Virginia  in 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS. 

1835;  Lieutenant  Samuel  H.  Bryant,  U.  S.  A.,  in  North 
Carolina  in  1814;  Midshipman  Samuel  B.  Cocke,  U. 
S.  N.,  near  Washington  in  1822;  Captain  Joshua  W. 
Collett,  U.  S.  A.,  in  Mexico  in  1848;  Surgeon  Willis  H. 
Bassett,  U.  S.  N.,  in  South  America  in  1830.  In  1849^ 
in  Virginia,  Midshipman  J.  P.  Jones,  U.  S.  N.,  fought 
with  James  Hope,  and  was  dangerously  wounded  at 
the  first  fire.  It  has  been  stated  that  the  pistols  usetd 
by  these  gentlemen  were  the  same  as  those  used  by 
Decatur  and  Barren:  which  is  not  so,  as  General 
Elliott  has  had  the  weapons  used  by  the  latter  in  his 
possession  since  1845.  1°  J839,  at  Port  Mahon  (Island 
of  Minorca),  Midshipman  Charles  Crillon  Barton  was 
wounded  by  a  brother-officer.  Midshipman  William 
Caney  was  a  participant  in  the  first  duel  fought  in 
California  (early  in  1849),  an<^  was  wounded  in  the 
leg.  Lieutenant  Richard  Somers,  U.  S.  N.,  a  Revo- 
lutionary officer,  fought  three  duels  in  one  day,  and 
was  wounded  in  the  first  two.  Somers  perished  in 
the  Intrepid  fire-ketch,  before  Tripoli  in  1804.  In 
1847,  in  the  city  of  Mexico,  Captain  Andrew  Porter, 
of  the  U.  S.  Rifles,  and  Captain  Archer,  of  the  Vol- 
tigeurs,  met  with  pistols,  and  the  latter  was  woundexi 
in  the  leg.  About  the  same  time,  or  afterward,  Lieu- 
tenant David  Bell  (2d  Dragoons  U.  S.  A.)  and  Lieu- 
tenant Robert  Williams  (who  married  the  widow  of 
Stephen  A.  Douglas)  met  near  Washington  with  pis- 
tols, and  the  former  received  a  slight  wound. 

In  1863,  after  the  defeat  of  the  Confederates  at 
Helena  (Arkansas),  a  bitter  feeling  grew  up  between 
Generals  Walker  and  Marmaduke,  of  Price's  army, 
which  was  intensified  into  a  quarrel  after  the  appear- 
ance of  their  respective  reports  upon  the  retreat  from 
Helena  to  Little  Rock,  and  culminated  in  a  duel  in 


372  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

which  Walker  was  mortally  wounded  and  died  in 
twenty-four  hours.  Walker,  who  was  the  superior 
officer,  sent  the  challenge;  which  Marmaduke  ac- 
cepted, and  named  revolvers  as  weapons;  distance, 
fifteen  paces.  Walker's  first  bullet  took  off  a  twig 
from  a  branch  directly  over  Marmaduke's  head,  and 
the  second  missile  from  the  latter  went  through 
Walker's  body  and  lungs,  from  which  he  reeled  and 
fell,  and  from  the  effect  of  which  he  died  at  Little 
Rock  upon  the  following  day;  Marmaduke  was  put 
under  arrest,  but,  his  services  being  valuable,  he  was 
shortly  afterward  released. 

During  the  fall  of  1864,  Major  Rapley  and  Captain 
Belden,  who  were  members  of  the  Confederate  Gen- 
eral J.  F.  Fagin's  staff, — whose  command  was  opera- 
ting in  Missouri  at  the  time, — became  involved  in  a 
quarrel  which  resulted  in  a  duel  with  revolvers,  at 
fifteen  paces;  terms,  to  fire  at  the  word  and  then 
advance  and  fire  at  will.  The  duel  took  place  near 
Independence,  early  in  the  morning.  Rapley  fired 
in  quick  succession,  but  made  no  advance.  Belden, 
however,  took  seemingly  deadlier  aims  at  his  antag- 
onist, and  advanced  at  every  shot.  The  latter  was 
hit,  though,  early  in  the  combat,  and  reeled  like  a 
drunken  man  and  fired  unsteadily,  of  course;  and  at 
last  fell  at  the  feet  of  Rapley,  after  throwing  his 
weapon  away  and  crying,  "  My  God!  I  ought  to  be 
killed  for  not  hitting  a  man  as  close  as  this."  Belden 
was  shot  through  and  through,  but  recovered. 

A  singular  affair  was  that  between  Lieutenant  La- 
nier,  of  Bishop  and  General  Folk's  staff,  and  a  wagon- 
master  of  the  same  (Confederate)  corps.  Lanier  was 
a  very  dressy  but  a  gallant  fellow,  and  while  executing 
some  order,  or  attempting  to,  he  incurred  the  dis- 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  373 

pleasure  of  an  irascible  wagon-master,  one  morning, 
who  said  menacingly  to  Lanier,  "If you  didn't  have 
on  so  much  gold  braid,  I'd  challenge  you  to  fight." 
"  You  would,  eh  ?"  replied  Lanier,  who  at  once  tore 
off  his  jacket  and  added,  "Come  on,  then;  we're 
equal  !"  In  ten  minutes  the  parties  had  taken  their 
positions,  with  revolvers,  at  twelve  paces,  and  at  the 
first  shot  Lanier  fell  severely  wounded. 


374  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 


CHAPTER  XIX. 

NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS— CONTINUED. 

The  Cilley-Graves  Affair  near  Washington— The  Third  Most 
Noted  Fatal  Duel  in  the  United  States — A  Combat  under 
the  Duello  upon  a  Point  of  Honor — A  Grand  Old  Gentleman 
Sacrifices  his  Noble  Life  to  the  Moloch  of  Punctilio — A  Duel 
between  Congressmen  who  had  Nothing  against  Each  Other — 
A  Cruel  Performance — An  Investigation  of  the  Event  by  a  Con- 
gressional  Committee — The  Committee  Present  a  Resolution  of 
Expulsion  of  Mr.  Graves  and  One  of  Censure  of  Messrs.  Jones 
and  Wise — The  Real  Instigator  of  One  of  the  Most  Cruel  and 
Inexcusable  Duels  on  Record  left  to  the  Chastisement  of  the 
Law  and  of  Public  Opinion. 

THE  third  most  noted  fatal  duel  which  has  taken 
place  in  the  United  States  was  that  unfortunate  and 
cruel  affair  between  Hon.  Jonathan  Cilley  (M.C. 
from  Maine)  and  Hon.  William  J.  Graves  (M.C.  from 
Kentucky),  which  took  place  near  the  National  Capi- 
tal, in  Maryland  (on  the  road  to  Marlborough),  on  the 
24th  of  February,  1838. 

Mr.  Cilley  was  attended  by  Hon.  George  W.  Jones 
(M.C.  from  Tennessee),  and  Mr.  Graves  by  Hon. 
Henry  A.  Wise  (M.C.  from  Virginia).  There  were 
also  present  Congressmen  Crittenden  and  Menefee 
of  Kentucky,  Congressman  Duncan  of  Ohio,  and 
Congressman  Bynum  of  North  Carolina. 

Mr.  Cilley,  the  noble  old  gentleman,  sacrificed 
his  valuable  life  to  the  hideous  Demon  of  ceremo- 
nial "honor."  "No  one  can  peruse  the  report  of 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  375 

the  committee  which  investigated  the  affair  without 
condemning,  in  particular,  the  action  of  one  of  the 
gentlemen  connected  with  this  devilish  performance," 
declared  a  writer  of  the  Baltimore  press  at  that  time. 
The  affair  originated  in  certain  words  spoken  by  Mr. 
Cilley  in  the  House  of  Representatives  and  which 
reflected  upon  General  James  Watson  Webb,  editor  of 
the  New  York  Courier  and  Enquirer.  Mr.  Graves  was 
at  first  the  bearer  of  a  note  from  General  Webb  to  Mr. 
Cilley,  which  Mr.  Cilley  declined  to  receive,  where- 
upon a  correspondence  took  place  between  Messrs. 
Graves  and  Cilley,  resulting  in  a  challenge  from  Mr. 
Graves.  The  duel  was  fought  with  rifles,  at  eighty 
yards.  The  gentlemen  were  placed  at  about  a  quar- 
ter past  three  in  the  afternoon,  when  they  exchanged 
shots.  Mr.  Cilley  fired  first,  and  Mr.  Graves  one  or 
two  seconds  afterward,  and  both  missed.  After  the 
first  fire  some  argument  occurred  between  the  seconds 
of  the  parties  and  their  respective  principals,  with  a 
view  to  closing  the  meeting  at  this  point  if  possible. 
No  satisfactory  arrangement  could  be  reached,  how- 
ever, and  the  second  exchange  of  shots  took  place, 
with  the  same  result.  Mr.  Graves  persisting  and  de- 
manding another  shot,  the  rifles  were  again  loaded, 
the  parties  resumed  their  stations,  and  the  third  fire 
took  place,  which  was  the  last,  as  Mr.  Cilley  was  shot 
through  the  body.  He  dropped  his  rifle,  beckoned  to 
one  near  him,  and  exclaimed,  "  I  am  shot !"  then,  put- 
ting both  his  hands  to  his  wound,  fell,  and  expired  in 
three  minutes. 

"Major  Ben  Perley  Poore,  in  his  Reminiscences,  says 
of  this  duel: 

Mr.  Cilley,  in  a  speech  delivered  in  the  House  of  Repre- 
sentatives, criticised  a  charge  of  corruption  brought  against 


THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

some  unmarried  Congressmen  in  a  letter  published  in  the 
New  York  Courier  and  Enquirer  over  the  signature  of  "  A  Spy 
in  Washington,"  and  endorsed  in  the  editorial  columns  of 
that  paper.  Mr.  James  Watson  Webb,  the  editor  of  the 
Courier  and  Enquirer,  immediately  visited  Washington,  and 
sent  a  challenge  to  Mr.  Cilley  by  Mr.  Graves,  with  whom  he 
had  but  a  slight  acquaintance.  Mr.  Cilley  declined  to  re- 
ceive the  hostile  communication  from  Mr.  Graves,  without 
making  any  reflections  on  the  personal  character  of  Mr. 
Webb.  Mr.  Graves  then  felt  himself  bound,  by  the  unwrit- 
ten code  of  honor,  to  espouse  the  cause  of  Mr.  Webb,  and 
challenged  Mr.  Cilley  himself.  The  challenge  was  accepted, 
and  the  preliminaries  were  arranged  between  Mr.  Henry  A. 
Wise,  as  the  second  of  Mr.  Graves,  and  Mr.  George  W.  Jones, 
as  the  second  of  Mr.  Cilley.  Rifles  were  selected  as  the 
weapons,  and  Mr.  Graves  found  difficulty  in  obtaining  one, 
but  was  finally  supplied  by  his  friend  Mr.  Rives  of  the  Globe. 
The  parties  met,  the  ground  was  measured,  and  the  combat- 
ants were  placed.  On  the  third  fire  Mr.  Cilley  fell,  shot 
through  the  body,  and  died  almost  instantly.  Mr.  Graves, 
on  seeing  his  antagonist  fall,  expressed  a  desire  to  render 
him  some  assistance,  but  was  told  by  Mr.  Jones,  '  My  friend 
is  dead,  sir!"  Mr.  Cilley,  who  left  a  wife  and  three  young 
children,  was  a  popular  favorite,  and  his  tragic  end  caused  a 
great  excitement  all  over  the  country.  Mr.  Webb  was  gener- 
ally blamed  for  having  instigated  the  fatal  encounter :  cer- 
tainly, he  did  not  endeavor  to  prevent  it.  Mr.  Graves  was 
never  afterward  re-elected — indeed  no  man  who  has  killed 
another  in  a  duel  has  ever  been  elected  to  office  in  Kentucky. 

This  was  a  combat,  says  Mr.  Sabin,  under  the 
duello  upon  a  mere  point  of  honor.  There  was  no 
difficulty  and  there  had  been  no  difficulty  between 
Messrs.  Graves  and  Cilley  at  any  time.  Even  upon 
the  ground,  after  an  exchange  of  shots,  the  latter 
declared  that  he  entertained  for  Mr.  Graves  "  the 
highest  respect  and  most  kind  feelings.1'  Mr.  Sabin,  in 
his  description  of  the  duel,  says  further : 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  377 

Mr.  Cilley  fell  mortally  wounded,  with  these  sentiments 
upon  his  lips.  It  has  been  suggested  that,  as  there  was  no 
personal  animosity  between  these  gentlemen,  a  single  fire 
should  have  satisfied  Mr.  Graves,  and  that  by  twice  renewing 
the  challenge  the  duel  was  pushed  to  an  unusual,  perhaps 
to  an  unjustifiable,  extremity.  Possibly  the  intimation  is 
not  destitute  of  force.  But  since  no  condemnation  of  the 
course  pursued  has  been  pronounced  by  persons  versed  in 
the  duello,  and  since  the  affair  was  actually  conducted 
throughout  by  persons  of  this  description,  we  are  required 
to  believe  that  Mr.  Cilley  was  slain  in  accordance  with  the 
code.  In  this  view  of  the  case,  how  very  deplorable  the  law 
which  demanded,  or  seemed  to  demand,  two  members  of  the 
national  councils,  of  unquestioned  character,  to  meet  in  a 
combat  which,  under  the  circumstances,  was  almost  sure  to 
terminate  only  with  the  fall  of  one  or  both  of  them !  The 
challenge  was  given  because  Mr.  Cilley  declined  to  accept  a 
note  from  Colonel  Webb,  borne  by  Mr.  Graves,  "  on  grounds 
which  would  exonerate  Mr.  Graves  from  all  responsibility 
growing  out  of  the  affair."  This  Mr.  Cilley  could  not  do 
without  an  admission  that,  in  his  remarks  in  the  House 
relative  to  Colonel  Webb,  he  had  slandered  that  gentleman  ; 
and  thus,  as  said  Mr.  Williams  of  Maine,  in  announcing  his 
death  in  the  Senate,  "  he  accepted  the  call,  because  the  act 
was  indispensable  to  avoid  disgrace  to  himself,  to  his  family, 
and  to  his  constituents."  The  decease  of  Mr.  Cilley  was 
announced  in  both  Houses  of  Congress  on  the  26th  of  Feb- 
ruary, and  his  remains  were  interred  from  the  Hall  of  Rep- 
resentatives on  the  next  day.  On  the  ist  of  March  a  com- 
mittee of  seven  members  of  the  House  was  appointed  "to 
investigate  the  causes  which  led  to  his  death,  and  the  cir- 
cumstances connected  therewith." 

The  report  of  this  committee  was  made  on  the  25th 
of  April,  and  was  very  elaborate  and  comprehensive, 
concluding  as  follows: 

This  concurrent  testimony  of  all,  without  exception,  taken 
in  connection  with  the  written  correspondence,  the  various 


THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

propositions  and  answers  on  the  field,  and  the  further  fact 
that  Mr.  Cilley  had  not  been  informed  that  Mr.  Graves  had 
undertaken  to  repeat  to  others  any  verbal  communication 
between  them,  or  that  any  misapprehension  or  misunder- 
standing existed  between  them  on  that  subject,  utterly 
repels  the  suggestion  that  any  question  of  veracity  had 
arisen,  or  had  been  made,  or  was  the  cause  of  the  challenge 
or  the  death  of  Mr.  Cilley.  Indeed  any  misapprehension 
on  that  subject  would  have  given  no  more  just  ground  of 
animosity,  and  least  of  all  of  the  highly  vindictive  feelings 
necessarily  aroused  by  a  question  of  veracity,  than  the  very 
evident  misapprehension  which  Mr.  Graves  labored  under 
in  regard  to  some  parts  of  the  note  of  James  Watson  Webb 
of  which  he  was  the  bearer. 

The  committee  will  not,  in  justice  to  Mr.  Graves,  harbor 
the  belief  that  there  were  rankling  secretly  in  his  bosom 
any  vindictive  or  hostile  feelings  toward  Mr.  Cilley  grow- 
ing out  of  any  question  of  personal  veracity,  and  prompting 
him  to  carry  on  a  deadly  warfare  under  another  pretext,  not 
only  without  a  direct  and  explicit  disclosure  of  the  real 
cause  of  difficulty,  such  as  would  have  left  no  misapprehen- 
sion on  the  mind  of  any  one,  but  under  circumstances 
which  misled  the  other  party  and  his  friends,  and  left  him, 
under  that  false  impression,  to  the  forfeit  of  his  life. 

The  committee  have  therefore  come  to  the  conclusion 
that  the  words  spoken  by  Mr.  Cilley  in  debate  in  the  House 
of  Representatives,  the  refusal  of  Mr.  CiTley  to  receive  a 
demand  for  explanation  of  those  words,  and  his  refusal  to 
assign  any  other  reason  for  it  than  that  he  chose  to  be 
drawn  into  no  difficulty  upon  the  subject,  were  the  causes 
which  led  to  the  death  of  Mr.  Cilley,  under  the  circum- 
stances which  have  been  substantially  detailed. 

It  remains  to  inquire  whether  there  has  been  a  breach  of 
the  privileges  of  the  House. 

It  is  a  breach  of  the  highest  constitutional  privileges  of 
the  House,  and  of  the  most  sacred  rights  of  the  people  in 
the  person  of  their  representative,  to  demand  in  a  hostile 
manner  an  explanation  of  words  spoken  in  debate;  to  be 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  379 

the  bearer  of  such  a  demand;  to  demand  a  reason  for  re- 
fusing to  receive  it,  beyond  the  mere  voluntary  election  of 
the  member  interrogated ;  or  to  demand,  under  any  circum- 
stances, any  reason  at  all.  No  member  can  be  questioned 
in  a  hostile  way,  and  put  to  his  plea,  and  yield  to  it,  without 
subjecting  himself  to  great  disadvantage  in  the  estimation 
of  many,  and  impairing  his  influence  and  his  usefulness  as 
a  member.  It  is  a  still  more  aggravated  breach  of  the 
privileges  of  the  House,  and  of  the  rights  of  the  people  in 
the  person  of  their  representative,  to  challenge  a  member, 
and  to  slay  him  in  combat,  for  refusing  to  comply  with  any 
such  demand.  It  is  the  highest  offence  which  can  be  com- 
mitted against  either  House  of  Congress,  against  the  free- 
dom of  speech  and  of  debate  therein,  against  the  spirit  and 
the  substance  of  that  constitutional  provision  that  for  any 
speech  or  debate  in  either  House  the  members  shall  not 
be  questioned  in  any  other  place,  and  violates  essentially  the 
right  of  perfect  immunity  elsewhere  for  words  spoken  in 
debate  here  which  is  essential  to  the  independence  of 
Congress  and  to  the  existence  of  constitutional  liberty. 
And  when  this  offence  is  committed  by  a  member,  it  calls 
for  the  exercise  of  the  highest  powers  of  the  House  to 
purge  itself  of  the  evil,  to  maintain  effectually  its  rights 
and  privileges,  and  to  preserve  inviolable  this  immunity 
which  is  guaranteed  by  the  Constitution,  not  for  the  sake 
of  the  individual,  but  for  his  constituents  and  for  the 
country. 

The  present  case  is  without  any  circumstance  of  extenua- 
tion. A  member  of  the  House,  in  a  manner  most  strictly 
parliamentary,  on  an  occasion  most  appropriate,  in  language 
most  decorous  and  moderate,  in  defence  of  the  honor  of  the 
House  against  an  anonymous  and  unfounded  charge  of 
corruption,  had  alluded  to  the  published  records  of  former 
proceedings  with  perfect  truth  and  accuracy ;  had,  in  obe- 
dience to  his  duty,  declined  a  hostile  demand  for  explana- 
tion in  a  manner  in  which  the  committee  can  discover  no 
cause  of  offence;  had,  respectfully,  with  expressions  of 
regret,  declined  to  admit  the  right  to  interrogate  him 


THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

further;  had  disclaimed  all  disrespect,  directly  or  indirectly, 
toward  his  antagonist,  and  avowed  for  him  the  highest  re- 
spect and  the  kindest  feelings ;  and  after  all  this,  avowed 
without  hostility,  and  against  the  strongest  protestations  of 
others,  he  was  required  fatally  to  expose  himself  to  the  third 
discharge  of  a  rifle.  On  the  other  hand,  Mr.  Graves,  a  mem- 
ber of  the  House,  voluntarily  and  unnecessarily  became  the 
bearer  of  a  demand  upon  another  member  in  attendance  for 
explanation  of  words  spoken  in  debate ;  he  presented  it  in 
the  House,  while  the  House  was  in  session ;  he  demanded  a 
reason  for  the  refusal,  beyond  the  voluntary  election  of  that 
member  to  be  drawn  into  no  difficulty  upon  the  subject ; 
which  being  withheld,  he  then  challenged  him  in  this  city, 
and  slew  him  in  this  vicinity,  while  Congress  was  in  session. 

Every  step  of  Mr.  Graves  in  this  progress  involved  him 
deeper  and  deeper  in  a  breach  of  the  privileges  of  the 
House,  until  their  destruction  was  consummated  in  the 
person  of  Mr.  Cilley.  The  eye  of  reason  can  discover  in  the 
whole  course  of  Mr.  Cilley  no  offence  toward  those  who 
pursued  him  except  that  given  by  alluding  to  the  records  of 
Congress,  in  the  faithful  and  upright  discharge  of  his  duty 
as  a  member,  which  justly  could  have  given  no  offence  at 
all.  Nor  can  his  death  be  vindicated  or  excused  by  any 
circumstance  whatsoever,  not  even  by  that  custom,  the  relic 
of  unenlightened  and  barbarous  ages,  which  was  formerly 
supposed  to  be  a  proof  of  some  degree  of  physical  courage, 
but  is  in  fact  a  signal  monument  of  the  want  of  the  higher 
attribute  of  moral  courage;  which  has,  in  these  modern 
times,  degenerated  into  a  game  of  chance  and  a  scramble 
for  undue  advantages;  which  can  furnish  no  criterion  for 
truth,  justice,  or  honor,  and  deals  out  its  inflictions  of 
misery  most  severely  upon  the  unoffending  and  the  helpless; 
which  is  deeply  deplored  by  all  men,  even  those  who  sub- 
mit to  it,  and  is  forbidden,  in  every  stage  of  it,  by  all  law, 
human  and  divine. 

It  is  not  necessary,  on  the  present  occasion,  to  go  into  any 
consideration  of  the  general  power  of  the  House  to  punish 
for  breach  of  privilege,  or  to  inquire  into  the  origin  and 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  381 

foundation  of  that  power  over  contempts  which  has  been 
asserted  by  the  Parliament  of  Great  Britain  from  time  im- 
memorial, by  every  legislative  body,  by  every  judicial  tribu- 
nal from  the  highest  to  the  lowest,  and  repeatedly  by  one 
or  the  other  House  of  Congress,  and  has  been  recognized  as 
existing  in  the  House  of  Representatives  by  the  Supreme 
Court  of  the  United  States.  Whether  it  be  a  power  neces- 
sary to  the  continued  existence  of  the  legislative  body  or  a 
power  necessary  to  the  free  exercise  of  its  legislative  func- 
tions, it  is  in  either  case  a  necessary  power,  strictly  granted 
by  the  Constitution,  and  as  fully  granted  as  if  it  were  liter- 
ally expressed.  But  in  the  case  of  members  the  Constitu- 
tion has  expressly  granted  the  power  to  punish  for  dis- 
orderly conduct,  and  has  also  expressly  granted  the  power, 
with  the  concurrence  of  two  thirds,  to  expel  a  member  for 
any  cause  which  two  thirds  of  the  House  may  deem  suffi- 
cient. 

The  committee,  therefore,  viewing  the  breach  of  the 
rights  and  privileges  of  the  House  on  the  part  of  Mr. 
Graves  to  have  been  an  offence  of  this  high  character, 
against  the  vital  principle  of  a  deliberative  assembly  and  of 
representative  government,  is  constrained  by  a  sense  of 
duty  to  present  to  the  House  a  resolution  that  he  be  ex- 
pelled therefrom. 

It  has  been  decided  by  the  House  of  Representatives,  on  a 
former  occasion,  that  it  was  a  breach  of  privilege  to  send  a 
challenge  to  a  member  in  attendance,  or  to  be  the  bearer  of 
such  challenge.  And  it  is  equally  so  to  act  as  second  to  the 
challenger.  In  the  present  instance  it  appears  that  Mr. 
Wise  had  no  knowledge  of  the  demand  of  explanation  which 
was  borne  by  Mr.  Graves,  and  had  never  seen  the  paper 
until  after  the  fatal  catastrophe.  But  having  been  early 
consulted  by  Mr.  Graves  upon  the  first  letter  of  Mr.  Cilley, 
and  concurring  with  him  in  his  views  of  it,  he  bore  the 
challenge  to  Mr.  Cilley,  and  he  acted  throughout  as  the 
second  of  the  challenger,  advising  and  insisting  that  the 
fight  should  go  on  until  Mr.  Cilley  fell.  The  committee, 
therefore,  deeming  him  deeply  involved,  under  the  circum- 


382  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

stances  which  this  case  presents,  in  a  breach  of  the  privi- 
leges of  the  House,  report  a  resolution  that  he  deserves  the 
decided  censure  of  the  House,  and  that  he  be  censured  ac- 
cordingly. 

Mr.  Jones  had  no  knowledge  of  the  affair  until  the  de- 
termination of  Mr.  Cilley  had  been  formed  as  to  the  accept- 
ance of  the  challenge,  and  the  time,  mode,  weapon,  and 
other  preliminaries  of  the  meeting.  But  he  was  the  bearer 
of  the  acceptance,  and  acted  throughout  as  the  second  of  the 
challenged  party;  and  it  is  the  opinion  of  the  committee 
that  he  was  thereby  involved  in  a  breach  of  privilege,  and 
that  he  be  censured  therefor. 

In  regard  to  the  persons  not  principals  nor  seconds  who 
were  present  on  the  field  and  expressed  their  opinions  at 
the  request  of  the  parties,  without  having  advised,  instigated, 
or  procured  the  meeting,  however  they  might  be  implicated 
in  the  courts  of  law,  the  committee  entertain  doubts  how  far 
they  would  be  involved  in  a  breach  of  privilege ;  and,  under 
a  strong  conviction  that  the  power  of  the  House  should  be 
exercised,  never  in  a  doubtful  case,  always  with  moderation, 
they  content  themselves  with  presenting  the  facts  and  cir- 
cumstances, so  far  as  those  persons  are  concerned,  without 
proposing  any  action  thereon. 

The  committee  entertain  no  doubt  that  James  Watson 
Webb  has  been  guilty  of  a  breach  of  the  privileges  of  the 
House;  but  they  also  concur  unanimously  in  the  opinion 
that  if  there  be  any  real  ground  to  believe  that  a  conspiracy 
to  assassinate  actually  existed,  as  set  forth  in  that  atrocious 
paper  drawn  up  by  him,  signed  by  Daniel  Jackson  and 
William  H.  Morell,  sworn  to  by  the  latter,  and  published  in 
the  New  York  Courier  and  Enquirer,  he  be  left  to  the 
chastisement  of  the  course  of  law  and  of  public  opinion, 
and  that  the  House  will  consult  its  own  dignity  and  the 
public  interest  by  bestowing  upon  him  no  further  notice. 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  383 


CHAPTER  XX. 

NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS— CONTINUED. 

A  Fatal  Duel  in  North  Carolina  in  1802 — Henry  S.  Foote's 
many  Duels — Judge  Child  and  General  Joor — Davis  and 
Leigh — Smith  and  Brank — Benjamin  Gratz  Brown  and  Thomas 
C.  Reynolds— Rhett  and  Cooley— Chambers  and  Lake— The 
Fate  of  an  Irish  Gentleman  who  "  would  not  Disgrace  him- 
self by  Marrying  the  Lady  he  had  Betrayed" — "Affairs  of 
Honor"  all  over  the  Southern  States — An  "Amphibial" 
Affair,  etc. 

A  FATAL  duel  which  is  still  spoken  of  and  written 
of  in  North  Carolina  with  mournful  interest  was 
that  in  which  ex-Governor  Richard  Dobbs  Spaight 
lost  his  life  at  the  hands  of  Mr.  Stanley.  The 
latter  had  taken  offence  at  a  handbill  issued  by 
Spaight  repelling  certain  aspersions  made  by  Stanley 
(the  two  gentlemen  were  running  for  Congress — 
Stanley  on  the  Republican  ticket  and  Spaight  on  the 
Federal),  and  challenged  Spaight,  who  accepted  and 
was  killed.  The  duel  took  place  on  the  5th  of  Sep- 
tember, 1802,  behind  the  Masonic  Hall,  at  Newbern. 
The  parties  fought  with  pistols,  at  eight  paces.  At 
the  first  fire  both  missed.  At  the  second,  Spaight's 
bullet  passed  through  the  collar  of  Stanley's  coat. 
They  then  fired  again  and  missed;  but  at  the  fourth 
discharge  the  ex-Governor  received  a  mortal  wound, 
from  the  effects  of  which  he  died  the  next  day. 

Hon.  Henry  S.  Foote,  an  eminent  American  states 


3 $4  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

man  (deceased),  born  under  the  shadow  of  the  Blue 
Ridge,  in  Fauquier  County  (Virginia),  and  who 
lived  to  honor  many  important  positions, — among 
which  were  Governor  of  Mississippi  and  Senator  in 
Congress, — fought  four  duels, — the  first  with  Edmund 
Winston,  at  Tuscaloosa  (Alabama),  in  1827,  with 
pistols,  both  combatants  being  wounded  at  the  first 
fire,  Governor  Foote  in  the  shoulder  and  Mr.  Win- 
ston in  the  hip.  This  affair  grew  out  of  a  personal 
encounter  between  Mr.  Foote  and  Stark  and  Pratt 
Washington  on  one  side,  and  Edmund  Winston  and 
others  of  that  celebrated  family  on  the  other,  during 
which  all  the  participants  were  more  or  less  injured, 
the  two  Washingtons  severely.  Some  few  years 
later  Governor  Foote  and  the  celebrated  S.  S. 
Prentiss  had  an  encounter  in  the.  court-house  at 
Vicksburg  (Miss.),  arising  out  of  a  dispute  over  a 
law-case,  when  Foote  threw  an  inkstand  at  Prentiss. 
A  challenge  to  fight  a  duel  followed,  of  course,  and 
the  parties  met  in  Louisiana,  on  the  opposite  side  of 
the  Mississippi  River,  and  Foote  was  wounded  in  the 
shoulder  at  the  first  fire.  Shortly  afterward  indiscreet 
friends  of  Mr.  Prentiss  said  things  which  angered 
Governor  Foote,  and  the  latter  challenged  Prentiss 
to  another  encounter.  The  challenge  was  accepted, 
and  the  parties  met,  as  before,  with  pistols,  at  ten 
paces,  and  Foote  fell  with  a  severe  wound  in  the 
right  leg,  just  above  the  knee,  from  which  he  nar- 
rowly escaped  death.  From  this  time  on,  until  the 
death  of  Mr.  Prentiss,  these  former  foes  became  inti- 
mate and  affectionate  friends,  neither  ceasing  to 
regret  that,  as  young  and  impulsive  men,  they  had 
twice  met  in  deadly  conflict  over  a  trivial  quarrel, 
in  obedience  to  the  then  pretty  general  public  senti- 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  385 

ment  of  that  country  (now  happily  obsolete)  that 
an  insulted  man  must  vindicate  his  honor  by 
endeavoring  to  take  the  life  of  the  offender.  The 
Governor's  fourth  affair,  a  few  years  later,  was  with 
Osman  Claiborne  (a  retired  naval  officer),  near  Co- 
lumbus (Miss.).  The  parties  fired  at  each  other  five 
times  with  pistols,  Governor  Foote  wounding  his 
antagonist  slightly  three  times.  This  affair,  like  all 
the  other  of  his  combats  of  this  character,  occurred 
when  Governor  Foote  was  a  man  much  below  mid- 
dle age.  It  is  a  curious  fact,  too,  that  he  knew 
almost  nothing  of  the  use  of  duelling-weapons  and 
was  really  a  miserable  shot,  and  would  have  regretted 
in  bitter  agony  to  the  day  of  his  death  had  it  ever 
been  his  misfortune  to  have  slain  a  fellow-man.  He 
was  often  heard  by  his  intimates  to  say  that  the 
bravest  and  most  lovable  as  well  as  the  most  solidly 
and  brilliantly  intellectual  man  he  had  ever  known 
was  the  gallant  and  eloquent  Prentiss,  who  went  .to 
Mississippi  from  the  State  of  Maine.  Two  sons  and 
a  daughter  (Mrs.  Senator  William  M.  Stewart)  of  the 
late  Governor  Foote  reside  at  present  in  California. 
Mr.  Foote  in  his  "  Bench  and  Bar  of  the  South  and 

Southwest  "  makes  note  of  a  number  of  hostile  meet- 

• 

ings  which  have  taken  place  among  those  men  of 
whom  he  writes — but  does  not  present  dates — thus: 
In  Mississippi,  between  Judge  Child  and  General 
Joor,  without  regular  seconds.  Child  was  accompa- 
nied to  the  rendezvous  by  a  "  mulatto  body-servant, 
who  drove  a  vehicle  of  some  kind  to  the  field  of  com- 
bat loaded  down  with  muskets  and  pistols,  which  he 
was  to  hand  out  to  his  master  as  the  exigencies  of  the 
battle  might  render  necessary."  Joor  was  a  native  of 
South  Carolina,  and  was  an  ardent  admirer  of  Cal- 


386  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

houn.  Child  was  a  brilliant  New-Englander.  Both 
were  severely  wounded.  Subsequently,  near  Wood- 
ville  (Miss.),  Mr.  Leigh  (son  of  Benjamin  Watkins 
Leigh,  of  Virginia)  and  Colonel  Fielding  Davis  met 
in  a  duel,  and  Leigh  was  killed  on  the  spot.  About 
the  same  time  Calvin  M.  Smith  and  Robert  M. 
Brank  fought  in  Kentucky,  and  the  latter  was  slain; 
while  Smith,  who  was  the  challenged  party,  was 
indicted  for  murder  and  stricken  from  the  roll  of 
attorneys. 

Early  in  the  century  a  meeting  took  place  near 
Augusta  (Georgia)  between  Captain  Robert  Flour- 
noy,  an  ex-officer  of  the  Revolutionary  army,  and 
Thaddeus  Holt,  a  prominent  Georgian.  Both  gentle- 
men were  distinguished  shots;  so  the  news  of  the 
impending  combat  spread  far  and  near,  and  the  duel 
was  fought  in  the  presence  of  many  spectators.  The 
combatants  met  with  holster-pistols,  at  ten  paces,  and 
at  the  first  fire  both  fell,  Holt  mortally  and  Flournoy 
severely  wounded:  Holt's  tongue  was  cut  off  by 
Flournoy's  bullet,  while  the  missile  from  Holt's 
weapon  ploughed  a  furrow  in  Flournoy's  forehead  and 
took  off  part  of  his  left  ear.  A  short  time  after  this 
Lieutenant- Colonel  Thomas  ^Flournoy  (a  brother  of 
Robert),  of  Jackson's  army,  fought  at  Bladensburg 
and  wounded  his  antagonist.  •  Colonel  Flournoy,  of 
San  Francisco,  who  distinguished  himself  in  the  Con- 
federate service,  is  a  grandson  of  Captain  Flournoy 
above  named. 

In  1861,  on  Bloody  Island,  opposite  St.  Louis,  Hon. 
Benjamin  Gratz  Brown  and  Hon.  Thomas  C.  Rey- 
nolds met  with  pistols,  and  Brown  was  wounded  in 
the  leg  at  the  first  fire.  In  New  Orleans,  in  1877,  R. 
Barnwell  Rhett  and  Judge  William  Cooley  met  with 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  387 

shotguns,  loaded  with  bullets  to  fit  the  guns,  at  thirty 
paces,  and  the  latter  was  killed  at  the  first  fire.  In 
1860,  on  the  banks  of  the  river  opposite  Vicksburg 
Henry  Chambers  and  William  A.  Lake — both  very 
popular  citizens  of  Vicksburg,  and  the  latter  a  leading 
member  and  vestryman  of  the  Episcopal  Church  and 
a  man  of  large  family — met  with  rifles  at  forty  paces, 
and  Mr.  Lake  was  shot  dead  at  the  first  fire. 

In  1824,  or  thereabouts,  Emil  Johns,  an  Austrian 
musician,  married  into  a  good  family  of  New  Or- 
leans. In  the  same  family  lived  an  Irish  gentleman 
named  McAdam.  McAdam  had  betrayed  a  young 
lady  of  the  family,  and  Johns  called  the  Irish  gentle- 
man to  account,  and  said  to  him,  "  Mr.  McAdam,  you 
must  make  the  only  reparation  that  lies  in  your 
power  to  make — you  must  marry  your  victim." 
"  Impossible  !  I  should  be  disgraced."  "  Then  you 
must  fight,  sir  !"  "  With  whom  ?"  "  With  the  gentle- 
man standing  before  you,  sir."  "  I  shall  be  only  too 
happy  to  accommodate  you."  The  parties  met  near 
Lake  Pontchartrain  upon  the  following  morning,  with 
pistols,  and  the  bullet  from  the  musician's  weapon 
sped  directly  through  the  heart  of  the  Irish  gentleman 
who  would  not  disgrace  himself  by  marrying  the 
lady  he  had  betrayed.  In  1842  A.  Ledoux  and  M. 
Chevremont  fought  near  New  Orleans  with  small- 
swords, and  Chevremont  was  killed. 

In  1838,  near  New  Orleans,  after  a  long  correspond- 
ence, Mandeville  Marigny  and  A.  Graihle  met  with 
pistols,  at  thirty  paces,  the  terms  of  which  were  as 
follows:  Each  man  to  have  a  loaded  pistol  in  each 
hand,  and  each  to  advance  ten  paces  and  fire  be- 
tween the  words  "  Fire  !  one,  two,  three,  four,  five, 
six,  seven,  eight,  nine,  ten,  eleven,  twelve,  thirteen, 


THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

fourteen,  fifteen,  sixteen,  seventeen,  eighteen,  nine- 
teen, twenty" — neither  party  to  cry  enough  until 
twenty  had  been  counted.  Marigny  fired  first  and 
his  antagonist  fell,  severely  wounded.  Then  Marig- 
ny advanced  another  five  paces,  pointing  his  remain- 
ing weapon  at  the  fallen  man,  as  much  as  to  say, 
"  Don't  you  dare  to  make  a  movement  until  '  twenty  ' 
is  reached."  Marigny  became  a  high  officer  in  the 
Confederate  army  during  the  War  of  the  Rebellion. 

In  Alabama,  in  1854,  political  difficulties  sent  Dr. 
Fant  and  F.  W.  Irby  into  the  field  with  pistols,  and 
the  latter  was  killed  at  the  first  fire.  In  Charleston 
(S.  C.),  in  1852,  Mr.  Hall  and  Mr.  Leckie,  with 
revolvers — Mr.  Leckie  killed.  In  South  Carolina,  in 
1849,  Mr.  Levy  and  Dr.  McCain — the  former  wounded. 
In  Kentucky,  in  1852,  F.  S.  McKee  and  Joseph 
Murphy,  with  pistols — both  severely  wounded  at  the 
fourth  shot.  In  Georgia,  in  1829,  Henry  G.  Nixon 
was  killed  at  the  first  fire  by  an  attorney  of  Savannah, 
who  fled  the  country.  In  Indiana,  in  1849,  Jonn  T. 
Gray  and  Henry  C.  Pope  (of  Louisville,  Ky.),  with 
shotguns  loaded  with  single  balls,  at  twenty  paces — 
the  latter  mortally  wounded.  In  Pennsylvania,  in 
1854,  A.  L.  Snowden  and  W.  G.  Ready,  with  rifles — the 
latter  severely  wounded.  In  New  Orleans,  in  1851, 
William  Cummings  and  Henry  Bouligny,  with  pistols 
— the  latter  killed.  At  Shreveport,  in  1849,  Dr.  Green 
and  Hon.  D.  Hester,  with  rifles — both  killed.  In 
Florida,  in  1833,  Attorney-General  Campbell  became 
involved  in  a  political  difficulty  and  was  killed  in  a 
duel.  In  North  Carolina,  in  1852,  W.  J.  Keith  and 
O.  M.  Dantzler  met  with  pistols,  and  the  former  was 
badly  wounded.  At  Bladensburg,  in  1821,  a  clerk 
in  the  Treasury  Department  named  Randall  met 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS. 

another  Washingtonian  named  Fox  with  pistols,  at 
eight  paces,  and  the  latter  was  killed  at  the  first  fire. 
In  Mississippi,  in  1851,  General  Smith  and  General 
Freeman,  candidates  for  Congress,  fired  five  times 
at  each  other,  when  Freeman's  bullet  took  effect  and 
the  duel  was  terminated.  In  Kentucky,  in  1851,  W. 
S.  Stinet  and  Robert  Mars,  with  pistols — both 
wounded.  In  South  Carolina,  in  1853,  John  Duno- 
vant  and  J.  Davidson  Legare,  with  pistols — the  latter 
killed  at  the  first  shot.  In  Georgia,  in  1832,  J.  J. 
Camp  and  Lowell  Woolfolk,  with  rifles — the  latter 
instantly  killed  and  the  former  mortally  wounded  at 
the  first  fire.  In  Florida,  in  1853,  Mr.  Collins  and  Mr. 
Winters — the  latter  killed.  In  Georgia,  in  1854, 
Joseph  B.  Coker  and  Claudius  C.  Stewart,  with 
double-barrelled  shotguns,  at  sixty  paces — Stewart 
severely  wounded  at  the  first  discharge.  In  Ken- 
tucky, in  1852,  B.  Johnson  and  T.  White,  with  double- 
barrelled  shotguns,  at  forty  paces — the  latter  killed  at 
the  first  fire.  In  North  Carolina,  in  1827,  Members  of 
Congress  Carson  and  Vance,  with  rifles — the  latter 
killed.  In  New  Jersey,  in  1852,  Mr.  Stowe  and 
Mr.  Townly,  with  pistols — both  wounded  at  the  first 
fire.  In  Kentucky,  in  1849,  Mr.  Smith  and  Mr. 
Singer,  with  pistols — both  wounded.  In  Alabama,  in 
1854,  W.  H.  Bowlingly  and  Charles  Roman,  with  pis- 
tols— Bowlingly  wounded.  In  New  Orleans,  in  1852, 
a  desperate  duel  was  fought  with  knives  between 
Pedro  Tastra  and  another  dealer  in  fish  named  Pages. 
The  combat  lasted  nearly  an  hour,  at  the  expiration 
of  which  time  Tastra  fell  dead,  having  been  literally 
cut  to  pieces.  Pages  was  afterward  tried  for  murder 
and  convicted  of  manslaughter,  but  was  quickly 
pardoned.  In  1853,  in  the  same  city,  a  young  man 


39°  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

named  Lessess  was  killed  in  a  duel  with  pistols  by 
a  former  friend  aged  nineteen.  In  1855  two  New- 
Yorkers  named  J.  B.  Breckinridge  and  F.  Leavenworth 
quarrelled  at  the  Shakespeare  Club,  and  in  a  few  days 
afterward  met  at  or  near  Niagara  Falls  with  pistols, 
at  eight  paces,  and  wounded  each  other  at  the  first 
fire.  In  the  winter  of  1859,  at  Denver  (Colorado),  be- 
tween Lewis  Bliss,  of  New  York,  and  Dr.  Stone,  of  Ohio, 
with  shotguns,  at  thirty  paces  (ounce  balls),  the  latter 
mortally  wounded  at  the  first  fire.  In  the  summer  of 
1859,  at  Denver,  between  Richard  Whitsett  and  Park 
McClure,  with  navy  revolvers,  the  latter  slightly 
wounded  in  the  thigh.  Whitsett  had  never  fired  a 
pistol  in  his  life,  and  declined  to  practise  even  after 
the  duel  had  been  arranged  ;  while  McClure  had  the 
reputation  of  being  an  expert  with  a  pistol,  and  made 
some  good  shots  at  a  mark  the  evening  preceding  the 
hostile  meeting. 

The  following,  from  a  Chattanooga  (Tenn.)  paper 
of  February  26,  1884,  maybe  properly  termed  an  "am- 
phibial"  duel:  "The  latest  tragedy  of  consequence  in 
this  section  of  country  took  place  yesterday  on  a  river 
steamboat  between  J.  W.  Watts  and  Henry  Wilson. 
It  seems  that  the  belligerents,  while  on  deck,  engaged 
in  a  quarrel  and  grasped  each  other.  Then  both  drew 
knives  and  slashed  away  until  each  had  received  from 
four  to  six  terrible  stabs.  They  finally  clinched  and 
in  the  scuffle  got  near  the  guards,  when  Wilson  made 
a  desperate  effort  to  throw  his  antagonist  overboard. 
Watts  hung  on  to  him  with  a  deathly  grip,  however, 
and  both  went  into  the  waves  embraced  in  a  deadly 
struggle.  They  sank  and  rose  to  the  surface  apart ; 
but,  each  trying  to  stay  above  the  water  by  holding 


.VOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  39 1 

the  other  down,  both  were  at  the  mercy  of  the  billows 
which  followed  the  boat,  and  soon  sank  to  rise  no 
more  before  the  steamer  could  be  checkeo^  and  a  life- 
boat sent  to  their  rescue.  We  doubt  if  there  is  an- 
other duel  like  it  on  record." 

The  last  fatal  duel  fought  in  the  United  States  was 
that  between  Colonel  William  M.  Shannon  and  Colonel 
E.  B.  C.  Cash,  at  Du  Bose's  Bridge,  in  Darlington 
County  (South  Carolina),  on  the  6th  of  July,  1880,  in 
which  Shannon  was  shot  through  the  heart  at  the  first 
fire. 

[Since  the  above  was  written  there  have  been  a 
number  of  meetings,  as  follows:  At  Dallas  (Texas), 
on  the  1 3th  of  July,  1884,  M.  U.  Beale  and  Mr.  Bowie, 
with  revolvers;  both  instantly  killed,  each  receiving 
bullets  in  the  head  and  heart.  The  same  day  Lieu- 
tenant Cunningham  and  a  railroad  man  named  Daly 
fought  at  Lozier  (Texas)  with  revolvers  at  thirty 
paces,  and  Cunningham  was  wounded  in  the  leg  at  the 
third  fire.  On  the  i6th  of  July,  1884,  at  New  Orleans, 
Captain  J.  E.  Brou  and  Evariste  Poche  met  with 
colichemardes  (triangular-shaped  swords),  and  the 
latter  was  wounded  in  the  thigh  in  a  scuffle  during  the 
progress  of  the  second  passage.  At  Emery  Gap 
(Tennessee),  on  the  i4th  of  August,  1884,  between 
M.  Staples  and  W.  H.  Rogerson,  with  revolvers  at  ten 
paces;  both  killed.  In  Avoyelles  Parish  (Louisiana), 
between  J.  Ducote  and  E.  Lemoine,  with  revolvers; 
Ducote  dangerously  wounded.  At  Terrell  (Texas), 
on  the  loth  of  August,  1884,  William  Dougherty  and 
Zachariah  Gray,  with  revolvers;  both  badly  wounded.] 


TH-E  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 


CHAPTER   XXI. 

NOTED   AMERICAN  DUELS— CONTINUED. 

The  Fourth  Most  Noted  Fatal  Duel  in  the  United  States — David 
C.  Broderick  and  David  S.  Terry  Meet  in  Deadly  Encounter 
near  San  Francisco,  and  the  Former  Receives  a  Mortal  Wound — 
Graphic  and  Detailed  Description  of  the  Tragic  Affair — Colonel 
E.  D.  Baker's  Great  Funeral  Oration — The  Magnetic  Power  of 
Broderick — His  Remains  Followed  to  their  Last  Resting-Place 
by  nearly  the  whole  Adult  Population  of  San  Francisco — 
"Good  Friend!  True  Heart!  Hail  and  Farewell !"— The 
Correspondence  in  Full — Terms  of  the  Duel. 

THE  fourth  most  noted  fatal  duel  fought  in  the 
United  States  was  that  which  took  place  near  San 
Francisco  on  the  i3th  of  September,  1859,  and  in 
which  Hon.  David  C.  Broderick  (United  States 
Senator  from  California)  was  mortally  wounded  by 
ex-Chief-Justice  (of  the  Supreme  Court  of  Califor- 
nia) David  S.  Terry.  This  was  indeed  a  meeting  of 
giants — physical  and  intellectual  giants.  It  was 
the  meeting  of  two  noble  men,  yet  each  standing  be- 
fore the  other  in  deadly  demeanor,  with  no  hope  or 
intent  but  to  kill. 

Some  two  years  ago  (in  1882)  a  San  Francisco 
correspondent  of  the  New  York  Sun  wrote  to  that 
paper  what  seems  to  the  author  to  be  as  impartial 
and  accurate  an  account  of  this  exciting  event  as 
it  is  possible  to  obtain — for,  however  much  we  may 
sympathize  with  the  living  victim  of  that  dreadful 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  393 

encounter,  or  to  whatever  extent  we  may  be  willing 
to  extend  a  Christian  pardon,  we  cannot  forget  that 
he  killed  David  C.  Broderick— the  "  noblest  Roman 
of  them  all " — and  that  he  cannot  be  fully  forgiven 
even  after  he  is  dead,  at  least  by  those  Californians 
who  idolized  their  noble  leader  while  living,  and  who 
continue  to  mourn  his  untimely  taking  off.  As  we 
write  (it  is  "  memorial-day"  in  San  Francisco),  a  sky  of 
spotless  blue  overhangs  Lone  Mountain,  and  away  in 
the  distance  we  can  see  the  handsome  shaft  which 
perpetuates  the  memory  of  the  chivalric  being  whose 
remains  repose  beneath  ;  while  grouped  around  the 
sacred  enclosure  are  the  annual  pilgrims  with  their 
floral  offerings,  the  perfume  of  which  intermingles 
with  the  aroma  of  odorous  shrubs  and  plants  and  an 
atmosphere  seemingly  freighted  with  the  incompar- 
able spices  of  far-off  Cathay. 

The  following  is  the  account  from  the  Sun  : 
Among  the  many  duels  in  the  early  days  of  California 
none  excited  so  much  interest,  and  none  had  such  an  influ- 
ence on  politics  and  society,  as  the  fatal  meeting  between 
David  C.  Broderick  and  David  S.  Terry.  They  were  repre- 
sentative men.  One  was  a  United  States  Senator,  and  the 
other  Chief-Justice  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  California. 
They  were  filling  important  niches  in  the  history  of  the 
young  State.  No  such  political  antagonism  had  existed 
since  the  days  of  Burr  and  Hamilton.  The  Republican 
Party  was  a  healthy  infant,  and  growing  rapidly.  The  State 
was  controlled  by  a  two-winged  Democracy.  Gwin,  Terry, 
Ashe,  Brooks,  Ben  ham,  and  others  worked  the  Lecompton 
wing,  and  Broderick,  the  friend  of  Stephen  A.  Douglas 
and  an  ardent  opponent  of  the  extension  of  slavery,  was  the 
soul  of  the  anti-Lecompton  wing.  He  and  his  followers 
occupied  middle  ground  between  nascent  Republicanism 
and  the  Southern  slave-Democracy.  The  friends  of  the 
Administration  cherished  a  deep  hatred  for  Broderick. 


394  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

With  him  out  of  the  way,  they  might  reunite  the  party  on 
the  old  basis  and  control  it.  Broderick  and  his  friends  had 
thwarted  the  ambition  of  the  "  chivalry."  After  a  desperate 
struggle  he  had  secured  a  seat  in  the  United  States  Senate, 
and  had  brought  the  haughty  Gwin  to  terms.  To  retain  his 
own  seat  in  that  body,  Gwin  had  given  the  stonecutter  a 
document  pledging  himself  not  to  meddle  with  the  official 
patronage  of  the  Pacific  coast.  This  document  was  known 
as  the  "scarlet  letter."  Broderick  had  said  in  a  speech  that 
its  writer  ought  to  be  as  clearly  marked  for  political  ostra- 
cism as  Hester  Prynne  was  socially  marked  by  the  initial 
on  her  breast.  It  was  a  fatal  letter.  Politicians  said  that 
the  man  who  had  it  in  his  possession  was  doomed. 

The  immediate  cause  of  the  quarrel  grew  out  of  a  speech 
made  by  Judge  Terry  before  the  Lecompton  Democratic 
State  Convention  in  Sacramento  in  1859.  He  called  Brod- 
erick an  arch-traitor.  He  said  : 

"  They  [the  anti-Lecomptonites]  are  the  followers  of  one 
man,  the  personal  chattels  of  a  single  individual  whom  they 
are  ashamed  of.  They  belong,  heart,  soul,  body,  and 
breeches,  to  David  C.  Broderick.  They  are  yet  ashamed  to 
acknowledge  their  master,  and  are  calling  themselves,  aye, 
forsooth,  Douglas  Democrats,  when  it  is  known,  well 
known  to  them  as  to  us,  that  the  gallant  Senator  from 
Illinois,  whose  voice  has  always  been  heard  in  the  advocacy 
of  Democratic  principles,  who  now  is  not  disunited  from 
the  Democratic  Party,  has  no  affiliation  with  them,  no  feel- 
ing in  common  with  them.  Mr.  President  and  gentlemen,  I 
am  mistaken  in  denying  their  right  to  claim  Douglas  as  a 
leader.  Perhaps  they  do  sail  under  the  flag  of  Douglas ; 
but  it  is  the  banner  of  the  Black  Douglass,  whose  name  is 
Frederick,  not  Stephen." 

Broderick  read  this  speech  while  at  breakfast  in  the  In- 
ternational Hotel,  and  grimly  smiled.  "  I  see,"  he  remarked 
to  D.  W.  Perley,  a  lawyer  (born  in  Woodstock,  N.  B.,  and 
a  friend  of  the  Gwin  faction)  "that  Terry  has  been  abusing 
me.  I  now  take  back  the  remark  that  I  once  made  that  he 
is  the  only  honest  judge  on  the  Supreme  bench.  I  was  his 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  395 

friend  when  he  was  in  need  of  friends,  for  which  I  am 
sorry.  Had  the  Vigilance  Committee  disposed  of  him  as 
they  did  of  others,  they  would  have  done  a  righteous  act." 

He  alluded  to  Terry's  arrest  by  the  Vigilantes  in  August, 
1856,  charged  with  cutting  a  man  named  Sterling  A.  Hop- 
kins, in  the  attempt  to  free  from  arrest  Reuben  Maloney. 
Had  Hopkins  died,  Terry  would  probably  have  hanged.  As 
it  was,  it  took  the  strongest  influence,  Masonic,  press,  and 
other,  to  save  him  from  banishment. 

Perley  resented  Broderick's  remark.  He  professed  to  be 
a  warm  friend  of  Judge  Terry,  and  even  went  so  far  as  to 
challenge  the  Senator  on  his  own  account.  His  challenge 
was  curtly  declined  with  the  contemptuous  remark,  "  Sir,  I 
fight  only  with  gentlemen  of  my  own  position."  Perley 
hurried  off  to  Terry  and  repeated  Broderick's  slighting 
remarks.  The  spark  did  not  need  fanning.  It  was  already 
alight.  The  Judge  wrote  a  letter  of  inquiry,  to  which  Brod- 
erick  returned  the  following  reply : 

"FRIDAY  EVENINQ,  September  9,  1859. 
"  Hon.  D.  S.  TERRY  :  Yours  of  this  date  has  been  received. 
The  remarks  made  by  me  were  occasioned  by  certain  offen- 
sive allusions  of  yours  concerning  me,  made  in  the  Conven- 
tion at  Sacramento,  and  reported  in  the  Union  of  the  2§th 
of  June.  Upon  the  topic  alluded  to  in  your  note  of  this 
date,  my  language,  so  far  as  my  recollection  serves  me,  was 
as  follows :  '  During  Judge  Terry's  incarceration  by  the 
Vigilance  Committee  I  paid  two  hundred  dollars  a  week  to 
support  a  newspaper  in  his  [your]  defence.  I  have  also 
stated  heretofore  that  I  considered  him  (Judge  Terry]  the 
only  honest  man  on  the  Supreme  bench.  But  I  take  it  all 
back.'  You  are  the  proper  judge  as  to  whether  this  lan- 
guage affords  good  ground  for  offence. 

"  I  remain,  etc.,  D.  C.  BRODERICK." 

Judge  Terry  considered  the  Senator's  remarks  "  fighting 
talk,"  and  there  was  a  resort  to  the  code.  Calhoun 
Benham  (now  practising  law  in  San  Francisco),  S.  H. 


THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Brooks  (State  Comptroller  at  the  time),  and  Thomas  Hayes 
attended  to  his  interests,  and  Joseph  C.  McKibben,  David 
D.  Colton,  and  Leonidas  Haskell  acted  for  Senator  Brod- 
erick.  As  to  the  niceties  of  affairs  of  honor,  the  gentlemen 
who  assisted  Terry  were  much  superior  to  Broderick's 
friends.  McKibben  was  a  Congressman,  and  probably  had 
never  before  participated  in  a  formal  duel.  D.  D.  Colton 
(now  dead)  had  been  sheriff  of  Siskiyou  and  the  hero  of 
many  rough-and-tumble  fights  incident  to  his  office  in  those 
lawless  days.  Haskell  was  an  every-day  man,  who  dabbled 
in  politics  without  neglecting  his  business.  Benham, 
Brooks,  and  Hayes,  on  the  contrary,  had  figured  repeatedly 
on  the  field,  the  latter  as  principal  on  one  or  two  occasions. 
Mr.  Broderick  was  somewhat  surprised  at  the  action  of  Mr. 
Hayes.  They  had  been  warm  political  friends  in  New 
York,  and  measurably  so  in  California.  Both  were  of  Irish 
extraction. 

A  meeting  had  been  arranged  for  the  I2th  of  September, 
at  sunrise,  near  the  boundary-lines  of  San  Mateo  and  San 
Francisco  counties.  The  principals  and  their  friends  were 
all  on  the  ground,  when  the  chief  of  police,  Martin  J. 
Burke,  placed  them  under  arrest.  They  were  brought 
before  Police  Justice  H.  P.  Coon,  and  discharged  on  the 
ground  that  there  had  been  no  actual  misdemeanor. 

John  A.  McGlynn,  a  brother  of  a  well-known  Roman 
Catholic  clergyman  in  New  York ;  Andrew  J.  Butler,  a 
brother  of  General  B.  F.  Butler ;  and  other  friends  of 
Broderick,  had  tried  to  dissuade  him  from  fighting.  He 
had  listened  to  all  their  arguments,  and  had  replied  that 
his  mind  was  made  up — the  duel  could  not  be  avoided  with 
honor.  He  was  quiet  and  composed,  but  inflexible. 

It  was  thought  that  the  arrest  would  stop  further  pro- 
ceedings, but  the  principals  were  determined  to  have  it  out. 
The  fact  that  a  second  meeting  was  to  take  place  on  the 
following  morning  was  whispered  to  a  few  reporters  under 
a  promise  of  secrecy,  and  at  midnight  several  vehicles  left 
the  city  and  drove  toward  the  Laguna  de  la  Merced,  about 
ten  or  twelve  miles  from  the  city.  Here  the  fight  was  to 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS. 

take  place.  It  was  cold,  and  the  drivers  frequently  lost 
their  way  in  the  darkness.  The  breeze  from  the  ocean  cut 
like  a  knife.  As  day  broke  a  buggy  was  descried  a  short 
distance  ahead,  occupied,  as  we  learned  on  overtaking  it,  by 
Henry  Fritz,  a  confidential  friend  of  Broderick.  Notwith- 
standing his  excessive  corpulence,  Fritz  was  blue  with  cold, 
and  his  teeth  rattled  like  castanets.  Another  buggy,  con- 
taining Dr.  Hammond,  Judge  Terry's  surgeon,  was  driven 
out  of  a  small  canon.  "All  right,"  was  the  general  ex- 
clamation ;  "  we  are  on  the  track  now."  The  doctor  and 
Fritz  laughed  in  concert.  "We  thought  to  throw  you 
newspaper  people  off  the  scent,"  said  the  doctor,  "  but  we 
find  it  is  no  use."  Other  carriages  were  seen  coming  from 
different  directions  and  skirting  the  lake.  They  all  drew 
up  at  a  rail  fence  which  marked  the  boundaries  of  a  milk- 
ranch  owned  by  one  Davis,  who  rubbed  his  eyes  in  sleepy 
astonishment  at  such  an  irruption  of  visitors.  There  was 
not  much  conversation.  One  or  two  remarks  were  made, 
and  a  partisan  of  Terry's  audibly  whispered  that  Broderick 
might  be  carried  dead  from  the  field.  Everybody  seemed 
to  feel  that  to  one  man,  at  least,  that  beautiful  day  was  to 
be  a  day  of  death.  Vaulting  over  the  fence,  the  party 
went  up  a  valley  the  centre  of  which  had  been  selected  as 
the  scene  of  the  encounter.  Mr.  Broderick  had  slept  at  the 
Lake  House,  near  by,  and  with  his  friends  waS  early  on  the 
ground.  Judge  Terry  and  his  friends  were  also  prompt. 
About  eighty  spectators  were  present. 

The  seconds  held  a  conference,  and  the  pistols  were 
examined  and  loaded.  Judge  Terry  won  the  choice  of 
weapons  by  the  toss  of  a  half-dollar.  Mr.  Hayes  marked 
off  the  prescribed  distance,  ten  paces,  and  warned  spectators 
to  get  out  of  the  line  of  fire.  Meantime  the  respective 
seconds  were  busied  about  their  principals.  The  Terry 
party  were  cool  and  collected,  as  became  old  hands  at  the 
business.  Mr.  Broderick's  friends  were  apparently  nervous 
and  hesitating.  One  incident  was  not  calculated  to  put  the 
Senator  in  good  heart.  Mr.  Haskell  partly  untied  the 
Senator's  cravat,  and  then  walked  off  a  few  paces,  wringing 


398  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

his  hands  as  though  overcome  by  his  feelings.    He  then 
returned  and  removed  the  neckerchief, 

Broderick  was  dressed  in  a  long  black  surtout,  and  wore  a 
soft  wool  hat  drawn  down  over  his  brow.  Terry  was  similarly 
attired.  When  the  principals  were  placed,  the  punctilios  o£ 
the  code  were  observed.  Calhoun  Benham,  Terry's  chief 
second,  approached  Mr.  Broderick,  and  passed  his  hands 
closely  over  his  sides  and  chest,  searching  for  concealed 
mail.  Mr.  McKibben  made  a  similar  examination  of  Terry, 
but  he  only  touched  his  fingers  to  his  waistcoat,  bowed  and 
withdrew.  It  has  been  thought  that  Mr.  Benham 's  action 
irritated  the  Senator  and  impaired  his  poise.  Before  this 
Mr.  Broderick  had  taken  some  coins  from  his  vest-pocket 
and  passed  them  to  Mr.  McKibben.  Terry  gave  his  loose 
change  to  Benham,  who  scattered  it  contemptuously  on  the 
sward.  All  things  being  in  readiness,  the  pistols  were 
cocked  and  the  hair-triggers  set  by  the  seconds.  They 
were  then  delivered  to  the  combatants.  It  was  observed  at 
this  time  that  Mr.  Broderick  appeared  nervous  and  ill  at 
ease.  He  repeatedly  twitched  the  skirts  of  his  surtout,  as 
though  they  were  in  his  way.  He  was  also  somewhat  out 
of  position,  and  Mr.  McKibben  corrected  him.  Broderick 
closely  measured  with  his  eye  the  ground  between  himself 
and  Terry.  Benham  read  the  conditions  of  the  meeting, 
and  Mr.  Colttm  followed  with  instructions  as  to  the  firing. 
He  had  won  the  word.  Broderick  was  still  nervous,  but 
Terry  stood  firm  and  erect,  a  silhouette  against  the  early 
morning  light.  The  men  held  their  weapons  muzzle  down- 
ward. A  moment  of  painful  silence  ensued. 

"  Gentlemen,"  said  Mr.  Colton,  in  a  clear  voice,  "  are  you 
ready?"  Both  replied,  but  Broderick  delayed  a  few  seconds. 
He  then  said,  "  I  am  ready." 

"  Fire !  One — "  There  was  a  report  from  the  Senator's 
pistol.  It  was  answered  in  a  second  by  Terry's  weapon. 
Broderick's  pistol  was  discharged  before  he  brought  it  to  a 
level.  This  was  probably  caused  by  the  fineness  of  the  hair- 
trigger  and  his  want  of  familiarity  with  that  particular 
weapon.  The  bullet  buried  itself  in  the  ground,  two  thirds 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  399 

of  the  distance  between  himself  and  his  antagonist.  It  was 
a  splendid  line-shot,  fallen  short  of  its  mark.  Broderick 
had  the  reputation  of  being  an  expert  with  the  pistol,  and 
this  result  surprised  those  who  knew  his  skill.  With  the 
crack  of  Terry's  weapon  Broderick  winced,  turned  half 
round,  and  then  made  an  effort  to  recover  himself.  "  Hard 
hit,"  his  friends  murmured.  These  words  were  proved  by 
his  unavailing  efforts  to  maintain  an  upright  position.  He 
drooped  until  finally  he  fell  prone  on  the  ground,  with  his 
pale  face  toward  the  sky.  He  was  hard  hit. 

Juggling  in  the  choice  of  weapons  was  openly  charged  in 
the  newspapers.  Bernard  Lagoards,  the  armorer,  a  French- 
man, loaded  Mr.  Broderick's  pistol,  and  Mr.  Brooks  charged 
the  one  intended  for  Judge  Terry.  The  Judge  had  won  the 
choice,  and  had  chosen  a  weapon  owned  by  R.  Beard,  a  friend 
of  Dr.  Aylette,  physician  of  the  Insane  Asylum  at  Stockton. 
They  had  been  in  the  Doctor's  possession  two  years.  The 
armorer  said  that  there  was  a  difference  in  the  pistols ;  that 
used  by  Senator  Broderick  carried  the  lightest  bullet.  He 
suggested  that  the  usual  mode  in  choosing  weapons  was  to 
select  those  with  which  both  parties  were  unfamiliar.  He 
asked  McKibben  why  he  did  not  force  his  principal  to  use 
his  (the  armorer's)  pistols.  McKibben  replied  that  Terry 
had  won  the  choice,  and  the  pistols  were  brought  by  his 
seconds.  The  armorer  had  never  seen  the  pistols  before, 
but  maintained,  in  the  presence  of  the  seconds,  that  they 
were  too  light.  He  said  that  they  could  be  discharged  by  a 
jar  or  jerk,  and  even  went  so  far  as  to  say  that  their  hair- 
triggers  might  be  so  finely  set  that  the  breath  of  a  strong- 
lunged  man  would  discharge  them. 

The  wounded  Senator  lay  on  the  sward,  with  his  head  sup- 
ported by  his  seconds,  Colton  and  Haskell.  His  surgeon, 
Dr.  Von  Loehr,  was  nervous,  and  seemed  uncertain  how  to 
act,  and  incapable  of  taking  prompt  measures.  Mr.  Brod- 
erick's life  was  ebbing  away,  and  his  face  was  pallid.  Mr. 
Brooks,  one  of  Terry's  seconds,  advanced,  and,  on  behalf  of 
his  principal,  tendered  the  services  of  his  surgeon,  Dr.  Ham- 
mond. 


400  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

"  Yes,  for  God's  sake,"  exclaimed  McKibben,  who  was 
greatly  excited,  "send  some  one  here,  or  Mr.  Broderick  will 
die  where  he  lies !" 

Dr.  Hammond  then  came  to  Dr.  Loehr's  assistance,  and 
cut  away  the  wounded  man's  clothing,  exposing  his  chest 
and  the  wound.  It  was  a  sorry  sight.  With  every  breath 
arterial  blood  spurted  from  the  wound  in  bright  jets  and 
stained  the  fair  skin.  The  group  surrounding  the  fallen 
man  shuddered.  Strength  of  constitution,  fortified  by  ab- 
stemious habits,  might  enable  him  to  hold  death  off  for  a 
short  time,  but  the  brightness  of  the  blood  told  that  he  was 
doomed.  The  ball  entered  the  right  breast  between  the 
second  and  third  ribs,  passing  under  the  sternum,  fracturing 
the  edge,  and  then  took  a  course  over  the  heart,  through 
the  upper  lobe  of  the  left  lung,  striking  the  fifth  rib  on  the 
left  side,  and  proceeding  upward,  passed  through  the  left 
armpit.  Its  tortuous  course  was  remarkable,  and  the  rend- 
ing of  the  vitals  must  have  been  terrible.  No  wonder  the 
Senator  was  unable  to  maintain  an  erect  position  for  a 
second  shot,  and  no  wonder  that  he  sank  nerveless  to  the 
earth. 

"  Baker,"  said  he,  on  his  dying  bed,  to  his  fast  friend,  the 
orator,  soldier,  and  statesman, — and  they  were  the  last  words 
he  spoke  to  him, — "  Baker,  I  tried  to  stand  firm  when  I  was 
struck  ;  but  I  could  not.  The  blow  blinded  me." 

As  soon  as  Broderick  fell,  Davis,  the  owner  of  the  ranch, 
who  had  been  silently  regarding  the  proceedings,  started  to 
his  feet  and  shouted,  "  That  is  murder,  by  God !"  He 
moved  toward  Terry,  as  though  intending  to  assault  him. 
He  was  intercepted  by  bystanders,  who  said  that  it  was  folly 
to  provoke  additional  bloodshed.  Davis  brushed  them  aside, 
exclaiming,  "  I  am  Broderick's  friend ;  I  am  not  going  to 
see  him  killed  in  that  way.  If  you  are  men,  you  will  join  me 
in  avenging  his  death." 

"  We  know  you  are  Mr.  Broderick's  friend,  but  we  know 
as  well  that  if  you  attack  Terry  there  will  be  a  general  fight, 
and  but  few  will  get  off  this  ground  alive.  Think  a  moment 
before  you  do  this  thing." 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  40 1 

Luckily,  this  scene  was  not  witnessed,  nor  the  remarks 
overheard,  by  any  of  the  Terry  partisans,  else  there  would 
have  been  a  bloody  conflict,  whether  their  leader  had  been 
attacked  or  not.  The  milkman  was  quieted  and  sat  himself 
down,  breathing  threatenings  of  slaughter. 

Terry  remained  in  his  place.  His  arms  were  folded,  and 
the  muzzle  of  a  pistol  projected  behind  him.  He  stood 
erect,  with  face  raised  and  an  inquiring  look,  as  though 
awaiting  a  demand  for  a  second  shot.  His  coolness  and 
nerve  were  shown  in  the  remark  just  after  he  delivered  the 
fire  :  "  The  shot  is  not  mortal ;  I  have  struck  two  inches  to 
the  right."  Others  say  his  words  were,  "  Ah  !  I  struck  him 
a  little  too  high." 

Being  assured  of  the  helpless  condition  of  his  antagonist, 
he  moved  toward  the  carriages  with  his  friends  and  then 
drove  hastily  to  the  city.  He  went  to  Stockton,  where  he 
owned  a  ranch,  and  quietly  awaited  events.  Here  he  was 
arrested  on  the  23d  of  September  by  two  San  Francisco 
police  officers,  brought  to  the  city,  and  put  under  ten 
thousand  dollars  bonds. 

Mr.  Broderick  was  removed  from  the  ground  three  quar- 
ters of  an  hour  after  he  was  shot,  placed  on  a  mattress  in  a 
spring  wagon,  and  taken  to  the  residence  of  his  friend 
Leonidas  Haskell,  at  Black  Point.  He  lingered  in  great 
pain  until  Friday,  September  16,  and  expired  at  9.20  in  the 
morning.  He  did  not  speak  much  during  his  suffering. 
From  his  rent  and  torn  breast  no  breath  came  without  exer- 
tion. Words  were  agony.  He  felt,  to  use  his  own  expres- 
sion, as  though  a  thousand-pound  weight  was  pressing  on 
his  chest.  But  he  did  utter  a  sentiment  which  had  great 
significance  a  few  years  after  his  death.  "  They  have  killed 
me,"  he  said,  "  because  I  was  opposed  to  slavery  and  a  cor- 
rupt administration." 

The  death-bed  scene  was  deeply  affecting.  The  viaticum 
had  been  given  by  the  priest,  Father  Maraschi.  Around  the 
couch,  which  had  been  drawn  into  the  centre  of  the  room, 
weeping  friends  were  grouped — those  who  had  honored  and 
loved  him  in  life,  and  were  now  assembled  to  witness, 


402  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

through  their  tears,  the  exit  of  that  great  soul  that  had  won 
men  and  controlled  councils.  There  were  present  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Haskell,  the  Misses  McDougall,  Miss  Cook,  Colonel 
Edward  D.  Baker,  ex-Governor  McDougall,  Hon.  J.  C.  Mc- 
Kibben,  General  Colton,  Hon.  John  Conness,  Colonel  A.  J. 
Butler,  John  A.  McGlynn,  Elliott  J.  Moore,  Herman  Wohler, 
Moses  Flannagan,  and  many  others,  prominent  in  social  and 
political  life,  ^whom  he  had  "grappled  to  his  heart  with 
hooks  of  steel."  Governor  McDougall  stepped  forward  and 
closed  the  eyes  that  had  looked  their  last. 

Editors  wrangled  over  the  dead  in  a  way  that  led  to  the 
belief  that  a  feeling  of  self-interest  had  mingled  with  their 
sorrow.  The  Times,  edited  by  C.  A.  Washburne,  brother  of 
E.  B.  Washburne,  seemed  to  say,  "  See  how  much  greater  is 
my  grief  for  the  dead  Senator  than  yours."  Many  expres- 
sions never  uttered  were  credited  to  Broderick.  Wash- 
burne was  working  in  the  interests  of  the  Republican  Party. 
The  Alia  and  Call  mourned  without  stint,  while  the  Bulletin 
lost  sight  of  individuals  in  considering  the  superior  question 
of  the  morale  of  duelling.  The  Herald  (Lecompton)  had  no 
tears  for  the  fallen.  It  criticised  only  the  mode  of  the  kill- 
ing, and  patted  Terry  on  the  back.  One  of  its  articles 
brought  out  this  reply : 

"  In  the  Herald  this  morning  we  are  reported  as  saying, 
'  And  if  there  was  any  advantage  on  either  side  it  was  surely 
with  Mr.  Broderick.'  We  have  not  made  this  statement, 
nor,  at  the  same  time,  have  we  imputed  any  unfairness  to 
Judge  Terry  or  his  seconds.  Further,  we  have  passed  no 
judgment  on  the  press  and  its  peculiar  views  as  to  the  un- 
fortunate affair,  our  duty  being  simply  to  correct  statements 
emanating  either  from  the  friends  of  Mr.  Broderick  or  Mr. 
Terry  not  warranted  by  the  facts.  This  we  have  done  in  all 
cases.  The  Herald  of  this  morning  contains  the  most  seri- 
ous misstatement  we  have  yet  seen.  Mr.  Broderick  had  not 
the  choice  of  weapons,  nor  were  his  friends  aware,  until  the 
publication  of  the  Herald,  that  one  weapon  was  easier  on 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  403 

the  trigger  than  the  other.     Had  we  believed  there  was  any 

unfairness  there  could  have  been  no  meeting. 

"Jos.  C.  McKiBBEN, 
"  DAVID  D.  COLTON. 
"SAN  FRANCISCO,  September  16,  1859." 

From  the  time  that  Broderick  was  wounded  the  whole 
city  was  in  mourning.  Every  consideration  was  subordinate 
to  anxiety  as  to  his  condition.  His  death  was  a  public 
calamity.  The  remains  were  brought  to  the  Union  Hotel, 
corner  of  Kearny  and  Merchant  streets,  where  they  lay  in 
state  amid  pyramids  of  flowers  until  Sunday,  the  i8th. 
Crowds  of  citizens  awaited  the  body.  Among  others  an  old 
man  walked  up  to  the  coffin,  with  hands  crossed  over  his 
chest,  whispering  a  prayer.  He  touched  the  forehead  of  the 
dead,  and  murmured,  "God  bless  you!  Your  soul's  in 
heaven !  God  bless  you !  California  has  this  day  lost  her 
noblest  son." 

Then,  reverently  crossing  himself,  he  walked  slowly  away. 
The  incident  is  cited  as  an  example  of  Broderick's  peculiar 
power  in  creating  a  following  aside  from  those  who  looked 
to  him  for  patronage.  This  magnetic  power  was  the  bed- 
rock of  his  political  strength.  He  inspired  affection  other 
than  that  of  mere  gratitude. 

The  funeral  took  place  at  half-past  one  o'clock  on  Sunday 
afternoon.  Before  the  procession  moved,  Colonel  Edward 
D.  Baker  took  a  conspicuous  place  on  the  plaza,  known  as 
Portsmouth  Square,  opposite  the  hotel,  and  in  the  presence 
of  a  concourse  that  embraced  nearly  the  entire  adult  popu- 
ulation  of  the  city  pronounced  a  funeral  oration.  The 
beauty  and  magnificence  of  this  tribute  to  a  dead  friend  are 
historical.  The  orator's  voice  was  heard  far  and  wide,  and 
those  who  crowded  the  streets  leading  to  the  plaza,  for 
blocks  away,  caught  his  words  distinctly.  The  peroration 
was  as  follows : 

"  But  the  last  words  must  be  spoken,  and  the  imperious 
mandate  of  death  must  be  fulfilled.  O  brave  heart,  we 


4O4  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

bear  thee  to  thy  rest ;  thus  surrounded  by  tens  of  thousands 
we  leave  thee  to  the  equal  grave.  As  in  life  no  other  voice 
among  us  so  rang  its  trumpet-blast  upon  the  ear  of  free- 
dom, so  in  death  its  echoes  will  reverberate  amid  our  moun- 
tains and  our  valleys  until  truth  and  valor  cease  to  appeal  to 
the  human  heart. 

"  The  earth  may  ring  from  shore  to  shore 

With  echoes  of  a  glorious  name, 
But  he  whose  loss  our  tears  deplore 

Has  left  behind  him  more  than  fame. 
For  when  the  death-frost  came  to  lie 

Upon  his  warm  and  mighty  heart, 
And  quenched  his  bold  and  friendly  eye, 

His  spirit  did  not  all  depart. 
His  love  of  truth,  too  warm,  too  strong 

For  hope  or  fear  to  chain  or  chill; 
His  hate  of  tyranny  and  wrong, 

Burn  in  the  hearts  he  kindled,  still. 

"  Good  friend !    True  heart !    Hail  and  farewell ! " 

The  San  Francisco  Evening  Bulletin  contained  the 
following  in  its  issue  of  September  17,  1859: 

The  following  statement  is  from  Mr.  Perley,  detailing  the 
difficulty  that  occurred  between  Senator  Broderick  and  him- 
self, at  the  International  Hotel,  which  directly  was  the  cause 
of  the  fatal  duel : 

"  I  was  sitting  at  the  breakfast-table  of  the  International 
Hotel,  directly  by  the  side  of  Mrs.  Colonel  James.  Her 
husband  sat  on  the  other  side  of  her.  Directly  opposite  sat 
Selover  and  Broderick.  I  spoke  to  both  politely  and  took 
my  seat,  and  then  commenced  a  conversation  with  Mrs. 
James.  Broderick  then  addressed  himself  to  me  as  follows 
'  Your  friend  Terry  has  been  abusing  me  at  Sacramento.' 

"  I  said,  'What  is  it,  Mr.  Broderick?' 

"  He  replied  :  '  The  miserable  wretch,  after  being  kicked 
out  of  the  convention,  went  down  there  and  made  a  speech 
abusing  me.  I  have  defended  him  at  all  times  when  all 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  405 

others  deserted  him.  I  paid  and  supported  three  news- 
papers to  defend  him  during  the  Vigilance  Committee  days, 
and  this  is  all  the  gratitude  I  get  from  the  d — d  miserable 
wretch  for  the  favors  I  have  conferred  on  him.  I  have 
hitherto  spoken  of  him  as  an  honest  man — as  the  only 
honest  man  of  a  miserable,  corrupt  Supreme  Court — but 
now  I  find  I  was  mistaken.  I  take  it  all  back.' 

"  I  then  spoke  as  follows :  '  Who  is  it  you  speak  of  as  a 
wretch  ? ' 

"  He  said,  '  Terry.' 

"  I  said,  '  I  will  inform  the  Judge  of  the  language  you 
have  used  concerning  him.' 

"  He  said,  '  Do  so ;  I  wish  you  to  do  so.  I  am  responsi- 
ble for  it.' 

"  I  then  said,  'You  would  not  dare  to  use  this  language 
to  him.' 

"  He  sneered  at  this,  and  echoed  me — '  Would  not  dare  ! ' 

"  I  replied,  '  No,  sir,  you  would  not  dare  to  do  it,  and  you 
shall  not  use  it  to  me  concerning  him.  I  shall  hold  you 
personally  responsible  for  the  language  you  have  used.' " 

Mr.  Perley  mentions  Mr.  Selover  as  having  been  present 
on  the  occasion,  and  we  submitted  the  above  statement  to 
him,  with  the  request  that  he  would  correct  anything  in  it 
according  to  his  memory  of  the  occurrence.  Mr,  Selover 
stated  that  the  whole  language  used  by  Mr.  Broderick  was 
in  an  undertone  of  voice,  he — Broderick — with  his  body 
across  a  narrow  table  in  the  direction  of  Perley.  "  Mrs.  Selo- 
ver, who  sat  on  my  right,  did  not  hear  what  Mr.  Broderick 
said  on  the  occasion.  Mr.  Broderick  had  but  a  few 
moments  before  read  in  the  Sacramento  Union  Judge 
Terry's  offensive  remarks  in  the  convention.  When  Mr. 
Perley  retired  from  the  table  I  expressed  my  regret  at  what 
had  occurred,  to  which  Mr.  Broderick  replied  that  he  was 
provoked  into  it  by  the  remarks  of  Judge  Terry  upon  him." 
Selover  says  :  "  I  have  been  induced  to  make  this  statement 
only  by  the  fact  that  Judge  Terry's  friends  have  gone 
beyond  the  record,  which  is  shown  by  the  correspondence 
previous  to  the  duel  to  have  contained  all  the  language 


406  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Judge  Terry  had  to  take  offence  at.  Statements  having 
been  subsequently  made  that  Mr.  Broderick  had  used  vio- 
lent language  in  the  presence  of  ladies,  and  I  being  a  more 
intimate  personal  friend  of  his  than  Colonel  James,  who  sat 
directly  opposite  to  me  at  the  table,  the  latter  gentleman 
was  requested  to  make  a  statement  of  what  occurred,  which 
was  done."  Major  Selover  also  said  in  his  statement  that  he 
had  no  recollection  of  the  word  "damned  "  being  used  on 
that  occasion,  as  he  sat  directly  opposite,  and,  had  it  been 
used,  he  must  have  heard  it. 

In  the  Democratic  Standard  (Sacramento,  September 
16,  1859)  appeared  the  following  correspondence, 
which  preceded  the  duel  between  Mr.  Broderick  and 
'Judge  Terry: 

To  the  Public. 

As  the  recent  hostile  meeting  between  Messrs.  Broderick 
and  Terry  has  attracted  much  public  attention,  and  has  been 
the  subject  already  of  many  misstatements  in  the  news- 
papers, it  is  deemed  necessary  to  publish  the  correspondence 
between  those  gentlemen.  The  papers  are  in  their  chrono- 
logical order.  CALHOUN  BENHAM, 

THOMAS  HAYES. 

Terry  to  Broderick. 

OAKLAND,  Sept.  8,  1859. 
Hon.  David  C.  Broderick. 

SIR  :  Some  two  months  ago,  at  the  public  table  of  the  In- 
ternational Hotel,  in  San  Francisco,  you  saw  fit  to  indulge 
in  certain  remarks  concerning  me  which  were  offensive  in 
their  nature.  Before  I  heard  of  the  circumstances,  your 
note  of  the  29th  of  June,  addressed  to  D.  W.  Perley,  in 
which  you  declared  that  you  would  not  respond  to  any  call 
of  a  personal  character  during  the  political  canvass  just 
concluded,  had  been  published.  I  have,  therefore,  not  been 
permitted  to  take  any  notice  of  those  remarks  until  the  ex- 
piration of  the  limit  fixed  by  yourself.  I  now  take  the  earli- 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  407 

est  opportunity  to  require  of  you  a  retraction  of  those  re- 
marks. The  note  will  be  handed  to  you  by  my  friend 
Calhoun  Benham,  Esq.,  who  is  acquainted  with  its  contents, 
and  will  receive  your  reply. 

[Signed]  D.  S.  TERRY. 

Benham  to  Broderick. 

SAN  FRANCISCO,  Sept.  8,  1859. 
Hon.  David  C.  Broderick. 

SIR  :  Should  you  have  occasion  to  communicate  sooner 
than  the  time  agreed  upon  between  us,  I  will  be  found  at 
the  Metropolitan  Hotel.  I  omitted  to  leave  my  address  this 
morning. 

Very  respectfully  your  obedient  servant, 
[Signed]  CALHOUN  BENHAM. 

Broderick  to  Terry. 

SAN  FRANCISCO,  Sept.  9,  1859, 
Hon.  D.  S.  Terry. 

SIR  :  Your  note  of  September  8  reached  me  through  the 
hands  of  Calhoun  Benham,  Esq.  The  remarks  made  by  me 
in  the  conversation  referred  to  may  be  the  subject  of  future 
misrepresentation,  and,  for  obvious  reasons,  I  have  to  desire 
you  to  state  what  the  remarks  were  that  you  designate  in 
your  note  as  offensive  and  of  which  you  require  from  me  a 
retraction.  I  remain,  etc., 

[Signed]  D.  C.  BRODERICK. 

Terry  to  Broderick. 

SAN  FRANCISCO,  Sept.  9,  1859. 
Hon.  D.  C.  Broderick. 

SIR  :  In  reply  to  your  note  of  this  date  I  have  to  say  that 
the  offensive  remarks  which  I  alluded  to  in  my  communica- 
tion of  yesterday  are  as  follows  :  "  I  have  heretofore  con- 
sidered and  spoken  of  him  [myself]  as  the  only  honest  man 
on  the  Supreme  Court  bench,  but  I  now  take  it  all  back" — 
thus,  by  implication,  reflecting  on  my  personal  and  official 
integrity.  This  is  the  substance  of  your  remarks,  as  re- 


408  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

ported  to  me.  The  precise  terms,  however,  in  which  such 
an  implication  was  conveyed  are  not  important  to  the  ques- 
tion. You  yourself  can  best  remember  the  terms  in  which 
you  spoke  of  me  on  the  occasion  referred  to.  What  I 
require  is  the  retraction  of  any  words  which  were  used 
calculated  to  reflect  on  my  character  as  an  officer  or  a 
gentleman. 

I  remain  your  obedient  servant, 
[Signed]  D.  S.  TERRY. 

Broderick  to  Terry. 

FRIDAY  EVENING,  Sept.  9,  1859. 
Hon.  D.  S.  Terry. 

SIR  :  Yours  of  this  date  has  been  received.  The  remarks 
made  by  me  were  occasioned  by  certain  offensive  allusions 
of  yours  concerning  me  made  in  the  convention  at  Sacra- 
mento and  reported  in  the  Union  of  June  25.  Upon  the 
topic  alluded  to  in  your  note  of  this  date,  my  language,  so 
far  as  my  recollection  serves  me,  was  as  follows  : 

"During  Judge  Terry's  incarceration  by  the  Vigilance 
Committee  I  paid  two  hundred  dollars  a  week  to  support 
a  newspaper  in  his  [your]  defence.  I  have  also  stated,  here- 
tofore, that  I  considered  him  [Judge  Terry]  the  only  honest 
man  on  the  Supreme  bench;  but  I  take  it  all  back." 

You  are  the  proper  judge  as  to  whether  this  language 
affords  good  ground  for  offence.  I  remain,  etc., 

[Signed]  D.  C.  BRODERICK. 

Terry  to  Broderick. 

SAN  FRANCISCO,  Sept.  10,  1859. 
Hon.  D.  C.  Broderick. 

SIR:  Some  months  ago  you  used  language  concerning 
me  offensive  in  its  nature.  I  waited  the  lapse  of  a  period 
of  time  fixed  by  yourself  before  I  asked  reparation  therefor 
at  your  hands.  You  replied,  asking  a  specification  of  the 
language  used  which  I  regarded  as  offensive.  In  another 
letter  I  gave  you  the  specification,  and  reiterated  my  de- 
mands for  retraction.  To  this  last  letter  you  reply, 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  409 

acknowledging  the  use  of  the  offensive  language  imputed 
to  you,  and  not  making   the  retraction  required. 

This  course  on  your  part  leaves  me  no  alternative  but  to 
demand  the  satisfaction  usual  among  gentlemen,  which  I 
accordingly  do. 

Mr.    Benham    will    make    the    necessary    arrangements. 

Your  obedient  servant, 
[Signed]  D.  S.  TERRY. 

Broderick  to  Terry. 

SAN  FRANCISCO,  Sept.  10,  1859. 
Hon.  D.  S.  Terry. 

SIR  :  Your  note  of  the  above  date  has  been  received — at 
one  o'clock  A.M.,  September  10.  In  response  to  the  same, 
I  will  refer  you  to  my  friend  Hon.  J.  C.  McKibben,  who 
will  make  the  satisfactory  arrangements  demanded  in  your 
letter.  I  remain,  etc., 

[Signed]  D.  C.  BRODERICK. 

Terms' of  the  Duel. 
(Time — Saturday  morning,  about  one  o'clock.) 

1.  Principals  to  be  attended  by  two   seconds  and  a  sur- 
geon each  ;  also  by  a  person  to  load  the  weapons.     This 
article  not  to  exclude  the  drivers  of  the  vehicles.     If  other 
parties  obtrude,  the  time  and  place  may  be  changed  at  the 
instance  of  either  party. 

2.  Place  of  meeting — On  the   farm  adjoining  the    Lake 
House    ranch     (Laguna     Merced)    occupied    by    William 
Higgins. 

3.  Weapons — Duelling-pistols. 

4.  Distance — Ten   paces  ;  parties   facing  each   other ;  pis- 
tols to  be  held  with  the  muzzle  vertically  downward. 

5.  Word  to  be  given  as  follows,  to  wit :  "  Gentlemen,  are 
you  ready  ?"    Upon  each  party  replying  "  Ready,"  the  word 
"fire"  shall  be  given,  to  be  followed  by  the  words  "One — 
two;"    neither  party  to   raise  his   pistol   before  the  word 
"fire,"     nor     to     discharge     it     after     the    word     "two." 
Intervals   between   the  words  "  fire,"  "  one,"  "  two,"  to  be 


4IO  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

exemplified  by  the  party  winning  the  word,  as  near  as  may 
be. 

6.  Weapons  to  be  loaded  on  the  ground  in  the  presence 
of  a  second  of  each  party. 

7.  Choice  of  position  and  the  giving  of  the  word  to  be 
determined  by  chance — throwing  a  coin,  as  usual. 

8.  Choice  of  the  two  weapons  to  be  determined  by  chance, 
as  in  article  7. 

9.  Choice  of  the   respective  weapons    of  parties   to    be 
determined  on  the  ground,  by  throwing  up  a  coin,  as  usual 
— that  is  to  say,  each  party  bringing  their  pistols,  and  the 
pair  to  be  used  to  be  determined  by  chance  as  in  article  7. 

On  the  part  of  Judge  Terry  it  was  protested  against  the 
word  being  stopped  short  of  the  word  "  three,"  as  unusual 
and  unwarrantable.  Mr.  Broderick's  seconds  answered  the 
protest  in  regard  to  the  parties  being  restrained  by  the  word 
"two,"  that  it  is  neither  unusual  nor  unwarrantable,  and  has 
the  feature  of  humanity. 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  411 


CHAPTER  XXII. 
NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS— CONCLUDED. 

The  Fatal  Meeting  between  Johnston  and  Furgeson — The  Kewen- 
Woodleif  Affair — The  Fate  of  the  Survivor — Hubert  and  Hunt 
— The  Latter  Mortally  Wounded  at  the  Second  Fire — Nugent 
and  Jones — Thomas  and  Dixon — Shaffer  and  Wethered — Re- 
volvers, Rifles,  and  Double-Barrelled  Shotguns  the  Favorite 
Weapons  with  the  Californians — Truett  and  Smith — Woodcock 
and  Blackburn — Tobey  and  Crane — Lundy  and  Dibble — Haw- 
kins and  Dowdigan — Dubert  and  Ellesler — Wright  and  Evans — 
Hopkins  and  Taylor — Leggett  and  Morrison — Hacker  and 
Londen — May  and  Rowe — Peachy  and  Blair — Brazer  and  Park 
— Pinckney  and  Smith — Kelley  and  Spear — Wright  and  Baird; 
and  Others. 

DUELS  were  frequent  in  California  from  1850  until 
1859,  and  very  frequent  from  1851  until  1854.  The 
most  notable  fatal  event  —  next  to  the  Broderick- 
Terry  affair — was  the  meeting  between  George  Pen- 
dleton  Johnston  and  William  I.  Furgeson,  which  took 
place  with  pistols,  on  Angel  Island  (San  Francisco 
Bay),  August  21,  1858,  and  in  which  Mr.  Furgeson  re- 
ceived a  mortal  wound.  Mr.  Johnston  having  died 
lately,  a  number  of  accounts  of  the  unfortunate  affair 
have  been  published,  the  following  being  from  the 
San  Francisco  Morning  Call : 

On  Friday  last,  the  body  of  George  Pendleton  Johnston  was 
laid  away  by  his  sorrowing  friends  for  its  final  rest.  With 
him  disappeared  one  link  connecting  the  old  school  of 


412  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

journalism  with  the  new.  Allusion  has  been  made  during 
the  past  week,  in  all  the  newspapers  of  this  city,  to  his  duel 
with  State  Senator  William  I.  Furgeson.  This  was  the 
great  controlling  event  of  his  career,  and  is  therefore  de- 
serving of  more  than  the  passing  mention  it  has  received. 
Its  influence  on  his  life  and  character  never  ceased  or  abated 
until  his  eyes  were  closed  in  death.  He  was  a  changed  man 
ever  after,  and  the  shadow  of  that  tragic  event  was  to  his 
soul  like  that  typified  by  Poe's  mystic  "  Raven ;"  the  "  mid- 
night dark  and  dreary"  of  its  coming  was  to  him  the  fatal 
anniversary  of  the  duel,  when  the  shadow  invariably  deep- 
ened on  his  brooding  heart.  He  was  a  Kentuckian,  born 
and  reared  among  a  people  whose  traditions  and  sentiments 
not  only  accepted  the  duello,  but  exalted  it  as  the  tribunal 
of  honor;  and,  while  he  would  probably  always  have -justified 
to  his  fellow-men  the  slaying  of  any  one  under  its  rules,  his 
humane,  generous  heart  could  never  let  him  rest  in  entire 
peace  with  himself  under  the  knowledge  that  a  human  being 
had  died  through  act  of  his.  All  his  surroundings,  as  well 
as  his  antecedents,  led  him  to  the  duel.  He  was  not  only 
born  and  reared  in  a  State  where  "  the  code"  was  maintained 
and  justified,  but  he  emigrated  to  one  where  it  was  even 
more  resorted  to  for  the  settlement  of  differences.  The 
duello  was  never  more  popular  anywhere,  probably,  in  the 
decade  from  184910  1859  than  in  California.  ...  So  many 
people  had  fallen  or  been  injured  that  about  1856  the  prac- 
tice of  duelling  fell  into  disfavor  and  disuse.  The  Johnston- 
Furgeson  affair  gave  it  a  new  impetus,  which  culminated  in 
the  killing  in  1859  of  David  C.  Broderick  by  David  S.  Terry, 
who  resigned  the  Chief -Justiceship  of  the  State  Supreme 
Court  to  engage  in  this  famous  duel.  The  parties  to  the 
first  of  these  two  affairs  were  both  prominent  men,  and  the 
part  each  -had  taken  in  the  exciting  political  events  of  the 
three  preceding  years  had  made  them  widely  known.  John- 
ston had  been  a  member  of  the  Assembly,  where  he  had 
taken  a  prominent  part,  among  other  things  of  introducing 
and  pushing  to  passage  an  anti-duelling  act,  to  give  force 
and  effect  to  the  constitutional  provision  on  that  subject. 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  4*3 

He  was  an  ardent  supporter  of  Dr.  Gwin  for  the  United 
States  Senatorship,  and  opposed  to  the  pretensions  of  Brod- 
erick,  engaging  in  that  contest  with  all  his  ardor  and  ora- 
torical ability,  which  was  considerable.  In  addition,  he  had 
rendered  his  decision  as  United  States  Court  Commissioner 
in  the  celebrated  case  of  the  negro  Archie,  which  created 
much  feeling  for  its  bearing  on  the  question  of  slavery — the 
more  by  reason  of  its  being  a  ruling  by  a  Southern  man  in 
favor  of  the  negro  under  one  application  of  the  fugitive- 
slave  law ;  and  finally  he  was  Clerk  of  the  United  States  Cir- 
cuit Court  in  San  Francisco.  Furgeson  was  a  remarkable 
man,  then  in  the  prime  of  life  and  the  full  flush  of  his  splen- 
did talents.  The  son  of  a  carpenter,  born  in  Pennsylvania, 
he  removed  to  Springfield,  Illinois,  where  he  studied  law 
under  Colonel  E.  D.  Baker,  and  rose  to  a  level  at  the  bar 
with  such  associates  as  Abraham  Lincoln,  David  S.  Logan, 
Baker, and  others  of  that  calibre;  thence  removing  to  Texas, 
and  finally  to  Sacramento,  in  this  State,  where  he  took  and 
maintained  his  position  among  the  brightest  men  at  the  bar, 
excelling  especially  in  the  department  of  criminal  law.  Pos- 
sessed of  great  ambition,  a  brilliant  genius,  one  of  the  most 
eloquent  and  fascinating  orators  California  has  ever  held  in 
citizenship,  he  entered  politics,  and  soon  became  one  of  the 
most  conspicuous  characters  in  public  life  here.  Elected  to 
the  State  Senate  on  the  Know-Nothing  ticket,  he  was  in  a 
sense  a  candidate  for  the  United  States  Senate  in  the  ex- 
citing session  of  1855-6,  but  finally  supported  General  Henry 
S.  Foote,  father  of  our  present  Railroad  Commissioner  of 
that  name,  upon  the  General's  receiving  the  caucus  nomina- 
tion of  the  party.  When  the  defection  of  Wilson  Flint,  one 
of  the  hold-over  Senators  from  San  Francisco,  who  disre- 
garded his  party  obligations  and  refused  to  vote  for  General 
Foote,  prevented  the  latter 's  election  and  enabled  Broderick 
to  carry  off  at  the  next  session  the  prize  for  which  he  strug- 
gled so  long,  only  to  find  it  a  disappointing  bauble  when 
gained,  Furgeson  distinguished  himself  by  the  force  of  the 
withering  invective  with  which  he  denounced  the  "  rec- 
reant." Then  Furgeson  became  more  prominent  by 


414  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

renouncing  the  Know -Nothing  Party,  his  constituents 
demanding  his  resignation,  and  his  successful  canvass  for 
a  re-election  at  the  next  polling,  and  lastly,  by  a  remarka- 
bly able  speech  on  squatter  sovereignty  shortly  before  his 
death,  when  he  followed  the  Douglas  wing  of  the  Demo- 
cratic Party  in  the  disastrous  spirit  of  that  time.  Furgeson 
had  one  unfortunate  frailty  to  which  genius  is  often  linked. 
Like  many  brilliant  men  of  that  as  of  all  other  times,  he 
was  addicted  to  strong  drink.  In  his  convivial  hours — or 
days — he  was  hilarious  to  a  point  quite  inconsistent  with  the 
dignity  of  the  senatorial  character,  even  drunken  senatorial 
dignity,  as  understood  here  a  quarter  of  a  century  ago,  and 
some  of  his  roystering  performances  had  gained  for  him  the 
nickname  of  "  Yip-see-Doodle."  During  the  senatorial  con- 
test above  mentioned,  General  Foote  was  thrown  into  such 
a  transport  of  rage  by  a  taunting  mention  of  "  Yip-see-Doo- 
dle," on  the  part  of  Colonel  A.  J.  Butler,  that  he  seized  his 
tormentor,  a  man  twice  as  large  as  he,  by  the  collar  in  a 
ludicrous  effort  to  shake  him.  One  evening  about  the  mid- 
dle of  August,  1858,  Johnston  and  Furgeson  met  in  the  old 
Bank  Exchange  saloon  on  Montgomery  Street.  A  joke  by 
Furgeson,  in  which  the  names  of  ladies,  friends  of  Johnston, 
were  ludicrously  introduced,  was  resented  by  the  latter. 
High  words  ensued  and  weapons  were  drawn.  Friends 
present  interfered  and  they  were  parted.  Johnston,  who  be- 
lieved himself  insulted,  sent  his  friend  W.  P.  Dameron  to 
Furgeson  the  next  day  to  demand  an  apology  or  satisfaction 
in  the  regular  way  of  the  duello.  Furgeson  refused  the 
apology,  was  challenged,  and  accepted.  It  was  first  arranged 
that  they  should  meet  near  Saucelito,  but  this  was  modified, 
and  at  five  o'clock  on  Saturday  afternoon,  August  21,  they 
stood  facing  each  other  in  hostile  attitude  in  a  secluded 
glen  on  the  east  side  of  Angel  Island,  near  where  the  quarry 
now  is.  Every  traveller  on  the  ferry  between  this  city  and 
San  Quentin  Point  has  seen  the  spot.  Washington  and 
Damerom  were  the  seconds  of  Johnston;  Eugene  L.  Sul- 
livan and  J.  M.  Estill  of  Furgeson.  Drs.  Hitchcock,  Angel, 
and  White  were  in  professional  attendance,  and  besides 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  415 

these  there  were  quite  a  number  of  spectators.  The  prin- 
cipals stood  ten  paces  apart,  resolutely  waiting  the  word, 
which  was  in  the  usual  form  :  "Are  you  ready?  Fire  !  One 
— two — three.  Stop!"  After  the  interrogatory,  both  men 
answered  firmly  and  exchanged  shots  at  the  word.  Neither 
was  harmed,  and  by  mutual  consent  the  distance  was  less- 
ened. Again  they  fired  without  injury  to  either.  The  dis- 
tance was  again  shortened,  and  a  third  time  they  fired 
ineffectually.  At  the  beginning  it  was  agreed  that  this 
should  be  the  limit  of  the  encounter,  but  Johnston  insisted 
on  an  apology  or  a  continuation  of  the  fight.  Furgeson 
was  firm  in  refusing  any  sort  of  apology,  and  again  the  men 
faced  each  other,  this  time  but  twenty  feet  apart.  The  word 
was  given  ;  they  fired  simultaneously.  Johnston's  wrist  was 
grazed,  and  Furgeson  sank  into  the  arms  of  his  seconds,  his 
right  thigh  shattered  by  the  bullet  of  his  adversary.  While 
he  was  lying  on  the  ground,  undergoing  surgical  exami- 
nation, Johnston  expressed  a  wish  to  give  him  his  hand 
before  quitting  the  ground.  Furgeson  faintly  replied  that 
he  was  in  the  hands  of  his  seconds.  Upon  their  assenting, 
Johnston  advanced  and,  grasping  the  hand  of  his  prostrate 
opponent,  said  warmly,  "  Uncle  Furg,  I'm  sorry  for  you." 
"  That's  all  right,"  whispered  Furgeson ;  whereupon  John- 
son remarked,  "  That's  enough  said  between  gentlemen," 
and  left  the  ground  with  his  friends.  Furgeson  was  removed 
to  this  city,  where  he  was  attended  by  half  a  dozen  or  more 
of  the  best  surgeons  here,  including  Drs.  Sawyer,  Grey,  Coit, 
Angel,  and  Bowie.  They  advised  him  from  the  first  that  his 
wound  was  a  serious  one;  that  with  prompt  amputation  of 
the  limb  there  were  fair  chances  of  his  recovery,  but  without 
it  a  very  slim  chance.  He  replied  that  he  would  not  part 
with  his  leg  for  the  whole  of  California,  and  that  he  would 
take  the  solitary  slim  chance  they  intimated.  He  sank 
slowly ;  the  wound  began  to  mortify ;  and  when  finally,  on 
September  14,  the  amputation  of  the  leg  was  attempted,  he 
died  under  the  operation.  His  death  created  a  profound 
feeling  on  this  coast,  for  he  was  recognized  as  a  man  of 
remarkable  talents  and  promise.  The  body  was  taken  to 


41 6  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Sacramento  for  burial.  A  large  delegation  of  prominent 
people  from  that  city  met  it  at  Benicia  and  conducted  it  to 
the  capital.  It  was  laid  in  state  in  the  Senate  chamber, 
where,  carrying  out  the  dying  request  of  his  unfortunate 
young  friend  and  pupil,  Colonel  E.  D.  Baker  pronounced, 
in  the  presence  of  a  great  assemblage,  the  funeral  oration, 
followed  by  an  impressive  sermon  by  Rev.  J.  A.  Benton,  of 
the  Congregational  Church.  A  great  concourse  followed 
the  remains  to  the  grave,  and  the  people  of  Sacramento 
erected  a  handsome  monument  which  yet  marks  the  resting- 
place  of  their  gifted  but  unfortunate  Senator.  Of  course  the 
sentiment  was  now  largely  in  sympathy  with  Furgeson  and 
against  his  slayer,  and  it  was  asserted  that  the  duel  was 
unfair  because  Furgeson  knew  nothing  of  the  use  of  the 
pistol.  Without  expressing  an  opinion  in  regard  to  this, 
Colonel  Baker  mentioned  it  in  his  funeral  oration,  stating 
that  Furgeson  had  never  fired  a  pistol  till  the  day  before  the 
duel.  The  reply  to  all  this  is  simply  that  he,  as  the  chal- 
lenged party,  named  the  weapons.  Before  the  latter's  death 
Johnston  left  the  city  on  the  U.  S.  revenue  cutter  W.  L. 
Marcy,  and  it  was  said  that  he  had  run  away  to  avoid 
responsibility  for  the  duel ;  but  upon  being  indicted  by  the 
San  Francisco  Grand  Jury,  under  the  anti-duelling  act,  of 
which  he  was  the  author,  he  came  back  to  stand  his  trial. 
The  Grand  Jury  of  Marin  County  having  also  presented 
him  for  the  same  offence,  he  chose  to  meet  his  trial  there, 
and  surrendered  to  the  authorities  of  that  county.  The 
trial  took  place  before  the  Court  of  Sessions  at  San  Rafael. 
The  district-attorney  prosecuted,  and  A.  P.  Crittenden,  W. 
H.  Patterson,  E.  L.  Gould,  and  T.  W.  Hanson— all  since 
deceased — defended.  The  defence  was  that  the  wound  was 
not  necessarily  fatal,  and  that  if  Furgeson  had  consented  to 
an  operation  when  advised  to  he  would  have  recovered. 
The  medical  testimony  supported  this  theory,  and  the  de- 
fence succeeded  in  securing  an  acquittal.  The  proceeding 
on  the  indictment  in  this  county  was  dropped  on  the  show- 
ing that  the  duel  occurred  in  Marin  County.  So  far  as  the 
law  was  concerned,  Mr.  Johnston  was  free  from  responsibility 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS. 

for  the  affair.  He  acted  on  the  principles  of  a  mistaken  if 
chivalrous  "code,"  which  was  inbred  and  inculcated  in  him, 
and  justified  him  to  his  fellow-men  who  believe  in  or  bow 
to  that  code.  Men  of  coarser  or  less  noble  mould  would 
have  rested  easy  and  content  with  such  justification,  but  his 
gentle,  humane  heart  never  threw  off  the  shadow  of  the 
tragedy. 

In  1854  occurred  the  fatal  duel  between  Kewen 
and  Woodleif,  which  has  been  described  by  a  corre- 
spondent of  the  San  Francisco  Evening  Post,  as  fol- 
lows : 

Achilles  Kewen,  brother  of  E.  J.  C.  Kewen,  of  Los  An- 
geles, and  Colonel  Woodleif,  who  had  been  County  Judge 
of  San  Joaquin  County,  had  a  political  dispute  in  the  old 
Blue  Wing  saloon  near  Sather's  Bank,  in  November,  1854. 
Both  were  Southern  men,  Kewen  being  of  Irish  parentage. 
Kewen  struck  Woodleif,  but  other  parties  quickly  separated 
them.  Kewen  acknowledged  that  he  had  been  too  hasty, 
and  he  apologized.  Woodleif  refused  to  accept  the 
apology.  He  had  fought  eight  duels  and  had  killed  some 
of  his  men.  He  was  educated  and  polished  and  well-to-do. 
Kewen  then  offered  to  place  in  Woodleif's  hand  an  apology 
in  writing.  Woodleif  refused  to  accept  this.  He  chal- 
lenged Kewen,  and  they  met  ten  miles  back  of  Oakland, 
November  8,  1854.  At  the  first  fire,  which  was  with  "Mis- 
sissippi yagers,"  at  forty  paces,  Woodleif  was  shot  in  the 
head  and  instantly  killed.  He  was  buried  at  San  Francisco, 
in  the  clothes  which  he  wore  when  shot,  at  his  own  re- 
quest. He  left  a  widow.  Kewen  went  to  Nicaragua  with 
Walker,  was  taken  prisoner  in  battle  and  put  to  death,  in 
defiance  of  the  laws  of  civilized  warfare.  E.  J.  C.  Kewen 
was  also  with  Walker,  but  escaped  his  brother's  fate. 

Another  unfortunate  affair  was  the  duel  between 
George  T.  Hunt,  an  Englishman,  and  Numa  Hubert, 
a  native  of  New  Orleans,  of  French  parentage. 


41 8  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

Both  were  lawyers,  without  family,  and  arrived  in 
San  Francisco  at  an  early  day.  They  met,  and  in 
due  time — or,  rather,  undue  time — they  quarrelled  at 
the  Metropolitan  Theatre  and  clinched,  but  were 
quickly  separated  before  the  audience  was  disturbed. 
Next  day  Hunt  received  a  challenge  from  Hubert, 
which  he  accepted,  and  the  parties  met  at  the  old 
Pioneer  Race  Course,  at  seven  o'clock  on  the  morn- 
ing of  May  2i,  1854.  The  weapons  were  duelling- 
pistols,  distance  ten  paces.  Two  shots  were  ex- 
changed, when  Hubert  fell,  mortally  wounded  in  the 
abdomen,  and  died  at  four  o'clock  the  next  morning. 
In  June,  1852,  near  San  Francisco,  William  H. 
Jones  and  John  S.  Nugent  met  with  pistols,  and  the 
former  was  wounded.  In  March,  1854,  three  miles 
from  Sacramento,  Philip  F.  Thomas,  district-attorney 
of  Placer  County,  and  Dr.  James  P.  Dixon,  of  the 
San  Francisco  Marine  Hospital,  met  with  duelling- 
pistols,  at  thirteen  paces  ;  and  the  latter  was  mor- 
tally wounded.  In  1857,  near  San  Francisco,  Cap- 
tain Frank  Shaffer  and  James  P.  Withered,  with 
double  -  barrelled  shotguns,  eighteen  buckshot  in 
each  barrel,  wheel  and  fire  ;  no  casualty  ;  Governor 
Stoneman  (then  a  lieutenant  in  the  U.  S.  A.)  was  one 
of  the  seconds.  In  October,  1855,  Austin  E.  Smith 
and  H.  B.  Truett  met  near  San  Francisco,  with 
Colt's  revolvers,  at  ten  paces,  and  Smith  was  hit  in 
the  leg  ;  he  was  afterward  killed  in  the  Confederate 
army  at  Richmond.  In  1852,  at  Marysville,  William 
H.  Woodcock  and  Charles  J.  Blackburn  met  with 
double-barrelled  shotguns,  at  fifty  paces,  each  barrel 
carrying  eighteen  buckshot,  terms  to  fire  between 
one  and  six  ;  Blackburn  was  severely  wounded  at  the 
first  fire  in  the  left  arm,  which  was  shattered  and 


NOTED  AMERICAN  DUELS.  419 

broken  near  the  shoulder,  and  also  in  the  groin.  In 
1853,  near  San  Francisco,  Alfred  Crane  and  Edward 
Tobey,  with  navy  pistols,  at  ten  paces  ;  Crane,  who 
was  the  challenged  party,  was  shot  through  the  body 
and  died  upon  the  following  morning.  In  1851, 
near  San  Francisco,  E.  B.  Lundy  (a  Canadian)  and 
George  M.  Dibble  (formerly  a  midshipman  in  the 
U.  S.  A.),  with  pistols ;  the  latter  killed.  In  1854, 
near  Sacramento,  Mr.  Hawkins  and  Mr.  Dowdigan^ 
with  rifles,  at  forty  paces  ;  the  latter  wounded  in  the 
arm.  During  the  same  year  Dubert  and  Ellesler 
fought  their  extraordinary  duel  with  broadswords, 
which  lasted  nearly  an  hour,  at  the  end  of  which 
Ellesler  was  severely  and  Dubert  mortally  wounded — 
the  latter  dying  in  great  agony  the  next  morning. 

In  1851,  near  the  Sans  Souci,  F.  R.  Wright  and 
H.  D.  Evans  met  and  exchanged  harmless  shots, 
when  the  seconds  effected  a  settlement.  During  the 
same  year  Messrs.  Hopkins  and  Taylor  (custom- 
house officers)  met  near  Benicia  with  pistols,  but 
were  arrested  and  put  under  bonds  to  keep  the 
peace.  In  1852  William  Leggett  and  John  Morri- 
son met  near  San  Francisco  with  pistols,  and  Leg- 
gett was  killed  at  the  third  fire.  In  1854,  David  E. 
Hacker  and  J.  S.  Londen,  the  latter  killed.  In  1853, 
Edward  Rowe  and  Colonel  May,  the  former  wounded 
in  the  neck.  In  1852,  A.  C.  Peachy  and  James 
Blain,  with  pistols;  the  latter  wounded.  In  1854, 
M.  C.  Brazer  and  J.  W.  Park  ;  neither  hit.  In  1853, 
near  San  Francisco,  William  H.  Scott  and  Peter 
Smith  (a  son  of  Judge  Pinckney  Smith  of  Missis- 
sippi), with  pistols,  at  eighty  paces  ;  the  latter  killed 
at  the  second  fire.  In  1852  John  Kelley  and  W.  S. 
Spear  fired  at  each  other  three  times  without  effect. 


42O  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

In  1853,  near  San  Francisco,  C.  J.  Wright  and  Oliver 
T.  Baird,  with  pistols ;  the  latter  wounded  in  the 
neck  at  the  second  fire.  In  1854,  near  Los  Angeles, 
H.  P. .  Dorsey  and  R.  Beveno,  with  pistols ;  both 
severely  wounded. 

One  of  the  last  duels  (if  not,  indeed,  the  very  last) 
fought  in  California  was  that  between  James  R. 
Smedberg  and  F.  W.  Gardener,  in  August,  1869.  It 
was  fought  in  the  morning,  at  Sansalito — a  pretty 
place  on  the  bay  opposite  San  Francisco — with  duel- 
ling-pistols ;  and  Smedberg  was  wounded  in  the 
right  hand  at  the  second  fire.  Mr.  Smedberg  is  a 
member  of  a  very  old  and  respectable  family  of 
New  York,  and  Gardner  is  a  son  of  a  former  Gov- 
ernor of  Massachusetts.  Both  displayed  great  cool- 
ness on  the  field.  Smedberg  was  attended  by  Stuart 
M.  Taylor,  and  Gardner  by  Howard  Crittenden. 


BLOODLESS  DUELS.  421 


CHAPTER  XXIII. 
BLOODLESS    DUELS. 

John  Randolph  and  Henry  Clay  —  General  James  Hamilton's 
Graphic  Account  of  this  Duel — Randolph's  Death  in  Phila- 
delphia— The  Bloodless  Duel  between  Congressmen  Edward 
Stanly  and  Henry  A.  Wise — How  Reverdy  Johnson  Lost  his 
Eyesight — The  Last  Meeting  at  Bladensburg — The  Stanly-Inge 
Duel — The  Last  Occasion  on  which  Powder  was  Burnt  on 
Account  of  Debates  in  Congress — Ch.  Lee  Jones's  Account  of 
the  Affair — The  Gwin-McCorkle  Duel — Dumont  and  "Jim"  Lane 
— Clingman  and  Yancey — Morgan  and  Henderson — Daniels 
and  Ganahl — Davidson  and  Lindsay  ;  and  Others. 

THE  most  distinguished  meeting  that  has  ever 
taken  place  in  the  United  States  in  which  there  was 
no  bloody  mischief  committed  was  that  famous 
"affair  of  honor"  between  the  illustrious  Clay  of 
Kentucky  and  Randolph  of  Virginia,  which  took 
place  near  Washington,  on  the  Virginia  shore  of 
the  Potomac,  just  above  the  Little  Falls  bridge,  at 
four  o'clock  Saturday  afternoon,  April  8,  1826.  Ran- 
dolph was  one  of  the  best  shots  in  Virginia ;  but, 
from  being  unaccustomed  to  fire  with  a  hair-trigger, 
his  pistol  exploded  before  the  word  was  given,  the 
muzzle  being  down.  On  the  word  being  given  for 
the  second  time,  Mr.  Clay  fired  without  effect,  Mr. 
Randolph  discharging  his  pistol  in  the  air.  As  soon 
as  Mr.  Clay  saw  that  Randolph  had  thrown  away  his 
fire,  he  approached  the  latter  and  said,  with  emotion: 


422  THE  PI  ELD   OF  HONOR. 

"  I  trust  in  God,  my  dear  sir,  you  are  untouched. 
After"  what  has  occurred,  I  would  not  have  harmed 
you  for  a  thousand  worlds." 

The  following  is  an  account  of  the  duel  frolfo  the 
pen  of  General  James  Hamilton,  of  South  Carolina, 
who  was  an  eye-witness  : 

The  night  before  Mr.  Randolph  sent  for  me,  I  found  him 
calm,  but  in  a  singularly  kind  and  confiding  mood.  He  told 
me  that  he  had  something  on  his  mind  to  tell  me.  He  then 
remarked :  "  Hamilton,  I  have  determined  to  receive,  with- 
out returning,  Clay's  fire  ;  nothing  shall  induce  me  to  harm 
a  hair  of  his  head ;  I  will  not  make  his  wife  a  widow,  nor 
his  children  orphans.  Their  tears  would  be  shed  over  his 
grave ;  but  when  the  sod  of  Virginia  rests  on  my  bosom 
there  is  not  one  in  this  wide  world,  not  one  individual,  to 
pay  this  tribute  upon  mine."  His  eyes  filled  ;  and,  resting 
his  head  upon  his  hand,  we  remained  some  minutes  silent. 
I  replied:  "My  dear  friend  [for  ours  was  a  sort  of  posthu- 
mous friendship,  bequeathed  by  our  mothers],  I  deeply  regret 
that  you  have  mentioned  the  subject  to  me  ;  for  you  call 
upon  me  to  go  to  the  field  and  see  you  shot  down,  or  to 
assume  the  responsibility,  in  regard  to  your  own  life,  in  sus- 
taining your  determination  to  throw  it  away.  But  on  this 
subject  a  man's  own  conscience  and  his  own  bosom  are  his 
best  monitors.  I  will  not  advise  ;  but,  under  the  enormous 
and  unprovoked  personal  insult  you  have  offered  Mr.  Clay, 
I  cannot  dissuade.  I  feel  bound,  however,  to  communicate 
to  Colonel  Tatnall  your  decision." 

He  begged  me  not  to  do  so,  and  said  he  was  very  much 
afraid  that  Tatnall  would  take  the  studs  and  refuse  to  go 
out  with  him.  I,  however,  sought  Colonel  Tatnall,  and  we 
repaired  about  midnight  to  Mr.  Randolph's  lodgings,  whom 
we  found  reading  Milton's  great  poem.  For  some  moments 
he  did  not  permit  us  to  say  one  word  in  relation  to  the  ap- 
proaching duel ;  and  he  at  once  commenced  one  of  those 
delightful  criticisms  on  a  passage  of  this  poet,  in  which  he 


BLOODLESS  DUELS.  423 

was  wont  so  enthusiastically  to  indulge.  After  a  pause, 
Colonel  Tatnall  remarked :  "  Mr.  Randolph,  I  am  told  you 
have  determined  not  to  return  Mr.  Clay's  fire ;  I  must  say 
to  you,  my  dear  sir,  if  I  am  only  to  go  out  to  see  you  shot 
down,  you  must  find  some  other  friend."  Mr.  Randolph 
remarked  that  such  was  his  determination.  After  much 
conversation  on  the  subject,  I  induced  Colonel  Tatnall  to 
allow  Mr.  Randolph  to  take  his  own  course,  as  his  with- 
drawal as  one  of  his  friends  might  lead  to  very  injurious 
misconstructions.  At  length,  Mr.  Randolph,  smiling,  said  : 
"  Well,  Tatnall,  I  promise  you  one  thing :  if  I  see  the  devil 
in  Clay's  eye,  and  that,  with  malice  prepense,  he  means  to 
take  my  life,  I  may  change  my  mind" — a  remark  I  knew 
he  made  merely  to  propitiate  the  anxieties  of  his  friend. 

Mr.  Clay  and  himself  met  at  four  o'clock  the  succeeding 
evening,  on  the  banks  of  the  Potomac.  But  he  saw  no 
"  devil  in  Clay's  eye,"  but  a  man  fearless  and  expressing  the 
mingled  sensibility  and  firmness  which  belonged  to  the  oc- 
casion. 

I  shall  never  forget  this  scene  as  long  as  I  live.  It  has 
been  my  misfortune  to  witness  several  duels,  but  I  never  saw 
one,  at  least  in  its  sequel,  so  deeply  affecting.  The  sun  was 
just  setting  behind  the  blue  hills  of  Randolph's  own  Virginia. 
Here  were  two  of  the  most  extraordinary  men  our  country  in 
its  prodigality  had  produced,  about  to  meet  in  mortal  com- 
bat. Whilst  Tatnall  was  loading  Randolph's  pistol,  I  ap- 
proached my  friend,  I  believed,  for  the  last  time.  I  took  his 
hand  ;  there  was  not  in  its  touch  the  quivering  of  one  pulsa- 
tion. He  turned  to  me  and  said :  "  Clay  is  calm,  but  not 
vindictive  ;  I  hold  my  purpose,  Hamilton,  in  any  event ;  re- 
member this." 

On  handing  him  his  pistol,  Colonel  Tatnall  sprung  the 
hair-trigger.  Mr.  Randolph  said,  "Tatnall,  although  I  am 
one  of  the  best  shots  in  Virginia  with  either  pistol  or  gun, 
yet  I  never  fire  with  a  hair-trigger ;  besides,  I  have  a  thick 
buckskin  glove  on,  which  will  destroy  the  delicacy  of  my 
touch,  and  the  trigger  may  fly  before  I  know  where  I  am." 
But,  from  his  great  solicitude  for  his  friend,  Tatnall  insisted 


424  THE  FIELD    OF  HONOR. 

upon  hairing  the  trigger.  On  taking  their  positions,  the  fact 
turned  out  as  Mr.  Randolph  anticipated :  his  pistol  went  off 
before  the  word,  with  the  muzzle  down. 

The  moment  this  event  took  place,  General  Jesup,  Mr. 
Clay's  friend,  called  out  that  he  would  instantly  leave  the 
ground  with  his  friend  if  that  occurred  again.  Mr.  Clay  at 
once  exclaimed  that  it  was  an  accident,  and  begged  that  the 
gentleman  might  be  allowed  to  go  on.  On  the  word  being 
given,  Mr.  Clay  fired  without  effect,  Mr.  Randolph  discharg- 
ing his  pistol  in  the  air. 

The  moment  Mr.  Clay  saw  that  Mr.  Randolph  had  thrown 
away  his  fire,  with  a  gush  of  sensibility  he  instantly  ap- 
proached Mr.  Randolph,  and  said,  with  an  emotion  I  never 
can  forget :  "I  trust  in  God,  my  dear  sir,  you  are  untouched. 
After  what  has  occurred,  I  would  not  have  harmed  you  for  a 
thousand  worlds." 

In  1879  a  member  of  the  old  regime  contributed  to 
the  Washington  Sunday  Herald  the  following  interest- 
ing account  of  the  excitement  at  the  National  Capi- 
tal on  the  day  of  the  duel : 

John  Randolph  seems  to  have  had  an  innate  dislike  of  the 
Kentuckians,  Henry  Clay  included.  He  always  regarded 
Kentucky  as  a  sort  of  dependency  on  Virginia,  and  the  peo- 
ple of  the  former  State  as  an  inferior  race  to  those  of  the  Old 
Dominion.  Randolph  was  bred  in  the  ways  of  the  old 
school,  when  the  overseer  and  the  country  storekeeper  ap- 
proached the  great  landholder  hat  in  hand.  The  freedom 
and  equality  that  prevailed  in  Kentucky  were  extremely  dis- 
tasteful to  him.  Although  nominally  a  member  of  the  same 
party  with  Mr.  Clay  when  the  latter  entered  Congress,  he 
generally  voted  with  the  Federalists.  His  most  intimate 
friends  in  Congress,  James  Lloyd,  Timothy  Pickering,  and 
Josiah  Quincy  of  Massachusetts,  Gouverneur  Morris  and 
Rufus  King  of  New  York,  were  of  the  same  party,  as  were 
his  two  most  intimate  friends  in  Virginia,  John  Wickham 
and  Dr.  Brockenbrough.  His  speeches  against  the  War  of 


BLOODLESS  DUELS. 

1812  were  of  Demosthenean  eloquence  and  power,  and  were 
circulated  by  the  Northern  Federalists  by  thousands  in  their 
respective  districts.  Mr.  Clay,  as  the  champion  of  the  war- 
party  in  the  House,  came  in,  of  course,  for  his  share  of  con- 
demnation in  these  philippics. 

In  the  year  1826  Mr.  Clay  was  Secretary  of  State  and  Mr. 
Randolph  a  member  of  the  Senate.  In  a  speech  in  that  body 
Randolph  alluded  to  Clay's  alliance  with  Adams  as  a  union 
of  the  "black-leg  and  the  Puritan"  — "  Blifil  and  Black 
George."  Mr.  Clay  challenged  him.  What  would  be  thought 
now  if  Mr.  Evarts  should  challenge  Mr.  Bayard  "  for  words 
spoken  in  debate"  ?  Tatnall,  of  Georgia,  and  Hamilton,  of 
South  Carolina,  were  Mr.  Randolph's  seconds.  When  they 
called  upon  him  the  evening  before  the  encounter  to  make 
the  last  arrangements  they  found  him  reading  Milton ;  and 
he  entered  upon  an  essay  on  his  genius,  from  which  he  could 
not  be  diverted  until  the  hour  was  so  late  that  very  few 
words  were  said  about  the  duel  or  anything  else.  Mr.  Clay 
was  accompanied  to  the  field  by  General  Jesup,  U.  S.  A.,  a 
Kentuckian  like  himself,  and  by  Dr.  Huntt,  the  celebrated 
physician  and  surgeon.  The  duel  was  a  bloodless  one ;  but 
so  long  a  time  elapsed  before  the  parties  returned  that  Mr. 
Clay's  friends  were  apprehensive  that  he  had  fallen.  General 
Harrison  (of  Ohio)  was  a  Senator  at  that  time,  and  lived  at 
Mrs.  Clark's,  on  F  Street,  where  Cammack's  building  now 
stands.  Mr.  Clay  lived  directly  opposite,  in  the  large  house 
removed  for  the  erection  of  the  Corcoran  building.  Mr. 
Nicholas  Callan,  then  eighteen  years  old,  lived  next  door  to 
Mr.  Clay,  and  was  accustomed,  with  his  friend  Hoban,  to 
visit  General  Harrison  every  afternoon  to  direct  speeches 
and  documents.  Mr.  Callan  states  that  the  General  was 
very  agreeable  in  his  intercourse  with  these  young  gentle- 
men, and  that  they  became  attached  to  him  from  his  eviden- 
kindness  of  heart.  [He  had  no  idea  then  of  -being  a  cant 
didate  for  the  Presidency.]  One  day,  however,  when  they 
were  engaged  as  usual,  the  General  appeared  dejected.  He 
sat  with  head  depressed  and  said  nothing.  At  last  he  saw 
Mr.  Clement  Dorsey  (M.C.  from  Maryland)  passing  by,  when 


426  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 

he  opened  the  window  and  called  out,  in  his  stentorian  voice, 
"  Dorsey !  Dorsey !"  Dorsey  came  up  to  the  General's  apart- 
ments, and  was  warmly  welcomed.  "  Mr.  Clay  is  dead  !"  said 
the  General.  "  I  hope  not,"  said  Dorsey,  in  his  peculiar 
falsetto  voice.  "But,"  said  the  General,  "he  was  to  have 
returned  by  four  o'clock,  and  it  is  now  past  five."  Just  then 
young  Callan  espied  Mr.  Clay  on  horseback,  coming  around 
the  corner  of  Fifteenth  Street,  and  announced  his  return  to 
General  Harrison.  The  General,  who  was  in  his  dressing- 
gown,  rushed  downstairs  bareheaded,  and  ran  over  to  Mr. 
Clay,  with  skirts  streaming  in  the  wind,  and  affectionately 
embraced  him  as  he  dismounted  from  his  horse.  General 
Jesup  passed  soon  afterward  on  his  way  to  his  house  on  F 
near  Thirteenth  Street,  now  the  residence  of  his  son-in-law, 
Colonel  Sitgreaves.  The  duel  was  fought  above  George- 
town, and  Randolph  came  on  the  field  in  a  flannel  dressing- 
gown,  which  was  perforated  by  Clay's  ball.  Randolph  fired 
in  the  air. 

Not  long  before  Randolph's  death,  in  1833,  he  passed 
through  Washington  on  his  way  from  Roanoke  to  New  Castle 
to  catch  the  Philadelphia  packet  for  Liverpool.  He  drove 
an  English  chariot  with  four  blooded  horses  of  different 
colors ;  and,  as  he  remarked  to  his  friend,  Governor  Lloyd, 
in  Baltimore,  the  next  day :  "  Nothing  but  the  blood  of  my 
nags  brought  me  through."  Juba  was  on  the  box,  and  Ran- 
dolph reclined  at  full  length  inside.  He  was  driven  to  the 
Senate  Chamber,  where  he  reposed  on  a  sofa.  Hearing  Mr. 
Clay  speak,  he  said :  "  Raise  me  up ;  I  want  to  hear  that 
voice  once  more."  Then  he  mounted  his  chariot  and  went 
his  way  northward,  but  when  he  reached  New  Castle  the 
Algonquin  had  passed  down  on  her  way  to  Liverpool,  her 
royals  still  visible  in  the  southeastern  horizon  as  she  bore 
gallantly  down  to  the  Capes.  So  Randolph  went  on  to 
Philadelphia,  where  he  died  not  long  afterward  at  the 
Columbian  Hotel,  on  Chestnut  Street,  and  where  most  elo- 
quent eulogies  were  pronounced  over  his  bier  by  Horace 
Binney  and  John  Sargent,  the  latter  describing  him  "as 
Cicero  eloquent,  as  Cato  incorruptible." 


BLOODLESS  DUELS.  427 

After  Mr.  Randolph's  death  Mr.  Clay  told  his  friend  Mr. 
Ogle  Tayloe  that  "he  had  been  warned  many  years  ago  to 
beware  of  Mr.  Randolph ;  that  he  was  bent  on  a  duel,  say- 
ing 'he  preferred  to  be  killed  by  Mr.  Clay  to  any  other 
death.' "  For  years,  says  Mr.  Tayloe,  Mr.  Randolph  sought 
a  duel  which  Mr.  Clay  had  averted  until  at  last  he  thought 
it  unavoidable. 

In  1842  an  "  affair"  in  which  there  was  no  blood- 
shed took  place  (or  nearly  took  place)  between  Hon. 
Edward  Stanly,  Congressman  from  North  Carolina, 
and  Hon.  Henry  A.  Wise,  Congressman  from  Vir- 
ginia. These  gentlemen  had  long  belonged  to  the 
same  political  party,  and  had  been  warm  personal 
and  political  friends.  When  President  Tyler,  by 
vetoing  the  United  States  Bank  bill,  left  the  Whigs 
and  went  over  to  the  Democrats,  he  carried  with  him 
a  very  small  party — about  half  a  dozen  from  the 
Whig  ranks — who  acquired  the  cognomen  of  the 
"  Corporal's  Guard."  Mr.  Wise  was  one  of  the  most 
prominent  of  this  "Guard,"  and  the  former  personal 
and  political  friendship  that  had  existed  between  him 
and  Mr.  Stanly  was  changed  into  the  most  bitter  per- 
sonal and  political  enmity.  Many  were  the  personal 
altercations  that  took  place  on  the  floor  of  the  House 
of  Representatives,  which  ought  (says  Ch.  Lee  Jones 
in  a  letter  to  the  New  York  Sun)  under  the  code  to 
have  called  for  explanation  from  one  or  the  other  of 
those  gentlemen;  "but  neither  took  the  initiative, 
each  alleging  that  the  message  ought  to  come  from 
the  other — a  very  erroneous  conception  on  both  sides 
of  the  requirements  of  the  code  of  honor,  which  pre- 
scribes it  as  the  duty  of  gentlemen,  when  language 
has  mutually  passed  requiring  notice,  that  there 
should  be  no  haggling  about  who  should  send  the 


428  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

first  message.  These  differences  finally  culminated 
on  the  race-course,  near  Washington.  Both  gentle- 
men were  present  on  horseback.  Mr.  Stanly  riding 
a  hard-mouthed  horse,  in  galloping  by,  accidentally 
brushed  against  Mr.  Wise,  which  Mr.  Wise  mistook 
for  an  intentional  affront,  and  riding  up  to  Mr.  Stanly 
struck  him  with  his  horsewhip.  This,  of  course, 
brought  matters  to  a  final  issue,  and  a  challenge  was 
sent  by  Mr.  Stanly  by  the  hands  of  Hon.  Reverdy 
Johnson,  and  was  accepted  by  Mr.  Wise.  But,  while 
Mr.  Johnson  was  preparing  his  principal  for  the  field 
at  a  country-seat  some  three  miles  from  Baltimore,  in 
trying  the  pistols,  he  fired  one  at  a  tree,  and  the  ball 
struck  a  dead  and  seasoned  spot,  rebounded,  and 
struck  him  directly  in  the  eye,  knocking  him  down. 
The  ball  was  afterward  found,  upon  a  surgical  exam- 
ination, under  the  eyelid,  perfectly  flattened  ;  and 
while  the  eyeball  was  apparently  uninjured,  the  sight 
was  forever  destroyed,  although  a  casual  observer 
would  not  have  noticed  the  defect."  Thirty  years 
afterward,  in  the  old  age  of  Mr.  Johnson,  the  sight  of 
the  other  eye,  through  sympathy,  became  impaired, 
and  that  excellent  and  distinguished  gentleman  met 
his  much  regretted  death  from  a  misstep  in  conse- 
quence of  his  defective  vision.  This  sad  accident 
necessitated  Mr.  Stanly  to  procure  another  second  ; 
and  in  making  this  selection,  he  procured  the  services 
of  John  M.  McCarty,  familiarly  known  as  Colonel 
Jack  McCarty,  who  had  the  reputation  of  being  a 
regular  "fire-eater,"  from  the  desperate  duel,  fought 
in  1819  with  muskets  at  a  few  feet  distance,  in  which 
he  killed  his  kinsman,  •  Armistead  T.  Mason.  But 
Colonel  McCarty,  notwithstanding  his  reputation  as  a 
"  fire-eater,"  was  one  of  the  most  genial  and  best- 


BLOODLESS  DUELS.  429 

hearted  of  men ;  and  he,  to  his  credit  (says  Mr. 
Jones),  "succeeded  in  bringing  about  an  honorable 
and  amicable  adjustment,  notwithstanding  the  blow 
that  had  passed.  A  vulgar  error  had  prevailed  that 
a  blow  was  a  mortal  insult,  requiring  blood.  It  is 
true  that,  under  the  old  French  code,  such  was  the 
rule;  but  this  notion  had  long  since  been  exploded 
in  England  and  in  this  country,  and  not  the  least  cen- 
sure ought  to  have  rested  on  Mr.  Stanly  on  account  of 
the  settlement  of  that  affair,  although  many  gentle- 
men at  the  time  considered  that  Mr.  Stanly  had  com- 
promised his  honor  by  not  having  insisted  upon  at 
least  a  meeting  and  an  apology  on  the  field  or  a  shot." 
A  bloodless  duel,  and  the  last  fought  at  Bladens- 
burg,  was  that  one  in  June,  1836,  between  the  Hon. 
Jesse  A.  Bynum  (of  North  Carolina)  and  Hon.  Daniel 
Jenifer  (of  Maryland),  in  consequence  of  a  misunder- 
standing in  the  House  of  Representatives,  when,  after 
six  shots  were  exchanged  without  damage  to  either 
party,  the  affair  was  amicably  adjusted.  The  Hon. 
Baillie  Peyton  (of  Tennessee)  and  Hon.  Francis  W. 
Pickens  (of  South  Carolina)  were  seconds  of  Mr. 
Jenifer,  and  the  Hon.  Edward  A.  Hannegan  (of  Indi- 
anna)  and  the  Hon.  H.  A.  Savier  (of  Arkansas)  were 
the  seconds  of  Mr.  Bynum.  It  is  extraordinary  and 
incomprehensible  (says  Mr.  Ch.  Lee  Jones  of  North 
Carolina)  that  gentlemen  of  the  character  of  each  of 
these  seconds  should  have  permitted  so  many  shots 
to  have  been  exchanged  in  a  case  growing  out  of 
language  used  in  debate.  A  "  British  Code,"  pub- 
lished in  1824,  lays  down  the  rule  that  ''three  fires" 
should  be  the  ultimatum  in  any  case,  as  any  further 
firing  would  reduce  the  duel  to  a  conflict  for  blood, 
or  subject  the  parties  to  ridicule  for  incapacity  in 


430  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

arms.  And  great  was  the  ridicule  attempted  to  be 
heaped  on  Messrs.  Bynum  and  Jenifer  by  the  journal- 
ists of  the  day  on  account  of  their  bad  shooting. 

The  last  duel  fought  by  Congressmen  was  the 
(bloodless)  meeting  between  Hon.  Samuel  W.  Inge  (of 
Alabama)  and  Hon.  Edward  Stanly  (of  North  Caro- 
lina), which  took  place  near  Washington  on  the  24th 
of  February,  1851.  This  was  the  last  occasion  on 
which  powder  was  burnt  in  the  United  States  on  ac- 
count of  debates  in  Congress.  Hon.  Jefferson  Davis, 
of  Mississippi  (later  President  of  the  Southern  Con- 
federacy), was  the  second  of  Mr.  Inge,  and  Colonel 
Ch.  Lee  Jones,  a  distinguished  North  Carolinian,  at- 
tended Mr.  Stanly.  In  a  debate  upon  the  River  and 
Harbor  bill,  Mr.  Bayly  (of  Virginia)  had  expressed 
the  opinion  that,  in  the  appropriations  proposed,  the 
bill  was  "sectional,"  which  statement  Mr.  Stanly  had 
controverted.  Mr.  Inge  submitted  an.  amendment 
providing  for  the  improvement  of  certain  rivers  in 
Alabama  and  Mississippi,  and  in  some  remarks  which 
followed  referred  to  the  course  of  Mr.  Stanly,  and 
said:  "If  the  South  were  to  wait  for  that  gentleman's 
warning  she  would  sleep  in  eternal  unconsciousness; 
she  would  sleep  until  every  assault  was  perpetrated, 
and  until  her  spoliation  was  complete.  ...  It  is  not 
from  him  that  I  should  expect  admonition  of  danger 
to  the  South."  This  produced  a  personal  discussion, 
which,  as  officially  reported,  was  in  these  terms: 

Mr.  Stanly — I  have  a  single  word  to  say.  I  do  not  believe 
the  gentleman  from  Alabama  wants  the  appropriation  which 
he  asks  ;  but  has  offered  the  amendment,  under  the  rule,  that 
he  might  make  an  unkind  and  unprovoked  fling  at  me.  I 
do  not  know  what  I  have  done  to  incur  the  gentleman's  dis- 
pleasure. 


BLOODLESS  DUELS.  431 

Mr.  Inge — I  merely  stated  facts  and  drew  inferences. 

Mr.  Stanly — The  gentleman  said  that  the  spoliation  of  the 
South  could  take  place  before  she  would  hear  a  warning 
from  me.  The  gentleman  shows  that  he  has  little  sense  and 
less  charity  when  he  charges  me  with  being  unfriendly  to  the 
South.  I  repeat,  I  am  unconscious  of  what  unkindness  I 
have  done  to  provoke  the  gentleman. 

Mr.  Inge — I  did  not  hear  the  gentleman.  Will  he  be  good 
enough  to  repeat  what  he  said  ? 

Mr.  Stanly — I  say  you  have  little  sense  and  less  charity  in 
charging  me  with  unfriendliness  to  the  South. 

Mr.  Inge — I  say  that  that  remark  is  ungentlemanly  and 
unparliamentary,  and  comes  from  a  blackguard. 

Mr.  Stanly — Mr.  Chairman,  he  charges  me  with  being  a 
blackguard.  He  has  just  shown  to  the  House  and  to  the 
country  that  he  is  one. 

The  Chairman — Personalities  are  not  in  order. 

Mr.  Stanly — No ;  personalities  are  not  in  order.  I  am 
willing  to  let  our  conduct  be  judged  of  by  the  public;  and  let 
them  estimate  his  character  and  mine.  As  to  my  friendship 
for  the  South,  let  the  record  and  my  conduct  speak  whether 
I  have  not  more  friendship  for  the  South  than  those  noisy 
traitors  who  impeach  others  and  seek  the  applause  of  the 
grog-shops  at  cross-roads  at  home  by  their  own  professions 
of  devotion,  and  by  crying  eternally,  "  There  is  danger, 
danger  to  the  South !"  Even  those  who  voted  with  a 
majority  of  Southern  members  upon  certain  measures  are 
uncharitably  assailed.  I  regret  I  have  been  called  on  to  say 
anything.  I  was  unconscious  of  giving  any  provocation. 
The  gentleman  cast  the  first  stone,  and  he  will  make  the 
most  of  what  I  have  said.  I  shall  hereafter  treat  remarks 
from  that  quarter  with  the  contempt  they  deserve. 

Hon.  William  M.  Gwin,  United  States  Senator  from 
California,  and  Hon.  J.  W.  McCorkle,  M.C.  from  the 
same  State,  met  in  California  on  the  ist  of  June,  1853, 
with  rifles,  at  thirty  paces,  the  combatants  to  wheel  at 


43 2  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

the  word  and  fire,  which  the  two  gentlemen  did 
three  times  without  harming  each  other,  when  the 
affair  was  brought  to  a  termination,  the  friends  of  the 
two  gentlemen  making  the  following  statement: 

After  an  exchange  of  three  ineffectual  shots  between  the 
Hon.  William  M.  Gwin  and  Hon.  J.  W.  McCorkle,  the  friends 
of  the  respective  parties,  having  discovered  that  their  prin- 
cipals were  fighting  under  a  misapprehension  of  facts, 
mutually  explained  to  their  respective  principals  in  what  the 
misapprehension  consisted,  whereupon  Dr.  Gwin  promptly 
denied  the  cause  of  provocation  referred  to  in  Mr.  McCorkle's 
letter  of  the  29Lh  of  May,  and  Mr.  McCorkle  withdrew  his 
offensive  language  uttered  on  the  race-course,  and  expressed 
regret  at  having  used  it. 

[Signed]  S.  W.  INGE, 

F.  STUART, 
E.  C.  MARSHALL, 
E.  C.  FITZHUGH, 
GEO.  P.  JOHNSON, 
June  i,  1853.  A.  P.  CRITTENDEN. 

In  1851,  in  Indiana,  Lieutenant-Governor  J.  H.  Lane 
and  Colonel  Ebenezer  Dumont  met  with  pistols,  but 
the  former  withdrew  his  challenge  on  the  field. 
Senator  Clingman  (of  North  Carolina)  and  Congress- 
man Yancey  (of  Alabama)  once  met  near  Washington 
and  fired  one  shot  at  each  other  with  pistols,  when  the 
seconds — Ch.  Lee  Jones  for  Clingman,  and  Congress- 
man Huger  (of  South  Carolina)  for  Yancey — adjusted 
the  matter  satisfactorily.  In  1851,  in  Georgia,  H.  Mor- 
gan and  W.  Henderson  fired  at  each  other  twice,  when 
their  seconds  terminated  the  affair.  In  the  same 
State,  in  1852,  a  similar  meeting  and  like  result  took 
place  between  Thomas  Daniels  and  Charles  Ganahl. 
In  1854,  in  Arkansas,  Hon.  A.  H.  Davidson  and  Colonel 


BLOODLESS  DUELS.  433 

W.  M.  Lindsay  met  with  pistols,  exchanged  shots,  and 
retired  from  the  field  friends.  In  1868,  in  Maryland, 
General  Lawrence  (United  States  Minister  to  Costa 
Rica)  and  Baron  Kusserow  (of  the  Prussian  Embassy) 
fiied  at  each  other  with  pistols,  without  effect. 


434  THE  FIELD  OF  HONOR. 


CHAPTER  XXIV. 
THE  RAREST  KIND  OF  BRAVERY. 

Conspicuous  Examples  of  Men  who  have  been  and  are  Too 
Brave  to  Accept  Challenges  to  Fight  Duels — A  Courageous 
Frenchman — Alexander  Skinner — Why  Sam  Houston  Declined* 
to  Meet  Judge  Burnett — An  Anecdote  of  Raleigh — Sumner  and 
Harney — A  Noble  Interpretation  of  the  Laws  of  Honor — Sir 
John  Dalrymple  and  Lord  Barrington — Lee's  Challenge  to  Judge 
Drayton — Reply  of  the  Eminent  South  Carolinian — Gunn's 
Challenges  to  Greene — Stanley  and  Johnston  of  the  Navy — The 
Effect  of  Eloquence — A  Modern  Virginian  of  First- Family  Blood 
who  will  not  Fight  in  Duels,  and  Why — An  Irish  Veteran  who 
Never  Fought  a  Duel — An  Instructive  and  Interesting  Story — 
General  Francis  Marion's  Courage — Morton  McMichael's  Treat- 
ment of  a  Challenge  from  James  Cooper — A  Challenge  Poeti- 
cally Declined. 

WE  can  readily  understand  the  position  of  the 
challenged  person  during  the  days  of  what  was  termed 
the  established  "  code  of  honor  ;"  and  can  compre- 
hend, in  all  its  truthfulness  and  force,  the  declaration 
of  Senator  Henry  Clay — that  incomparable  ornament 
to  American  statesmanship — when  he  admitted  (while 
favoring  a  Senate  bill  against  duelling  in  the  Dis- 
trict of  Columbia)  that  "  the  man  with  a  high  sense  of 
honor  and  nice  sensibility,  when  the  question  is 
whether  he  shall  fight  or  have  the  finger  of  scorn 
pointed  at  him,  is  irtiable  to  resist ;  and  few,  very  few, 
are  found  willing  to  adopt  such  an  alternative."  But 


THE  RAREST  KIND   OF  BRAVERY.          435 

there  have  lived  many  brave,  chivalrous,  and  honor- 
able men — among  Americans,  Englishmen,  Irishmen, 
and  Frenchmen  in  particular — who  have  presented 
exhibitions  of  that  greatest  of  all  kinds  of  courage — • 
the  courage  to  decline  a  challenge. 

Some  550  years  before  Christ,  the  King  of  Assyria 
declined  to  settle  a  difficulty  by  single  combat  with 
the  King  of  Persia.  Caesar  once  declined  a  challenge 
from  Marc  Antony.  In  1195  Philip,  King  of  France, 
took  no  notice  of  a  cartel  of  defiance  from  John,  King 
of  England.  In  1342  Edward  the  Third,  of  England, 
sent  a  challenge  to  Philip  de  Valois,  King  of  France, 
which  the  latter  declined.  Sir  Thomas  Prendergast, 
an  officer  in  the  army  of  Queen  Anne,  was  once  chal- 
lenged by  a  brother-officer  named  Pennant,  and  de- 
clined the  invitation. 

In  1589  the  chivalric  Earl  of  Essex  challenged  the 
Governor  of  Lisbon  to  meet  him  in  a  personal  en- 
counter, on  horse  or  on  foot.  But  that  official  treated 
Essex's  cartel  of  defiance  with  silent  contempt.  In 
1591  Essex  challenged  the  Governor  of  Rouen  to  meet 
him,  and  decide  by  single  combat  which  was  the  bet- 
ter man  or  which  served  the  fairest  mistress  ;  but 
that  functionary  declined.  In  1850  Sir  Thomas  Hast- 
ings, a  British  admiral,  challenged  Hon.  Richard 
Cobden,  M.P.  ;  Mr.  Cobden  declined,  however,  and 
published  the  letter  of  challenge.  In  1778  General 
Lafayette  challenged  the  Earl  of  Carlisle,  an  Eng- 
lish Commissioner  to  the  United  States  ;  the  Earl  de- 
clined to  give  personal  satisfaction  for  acts  performed 
in  the  discharge  of  public  duties.  In  1853  the  Earl  of 
Mornington  challenged  the  Earl  of  Shaftesbury  for  re- 
marks made  in  the  House  of  Lords.  The  latter,  how- 
ever, declared  that,  notwithstanding  the  impertinence 


THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

of  the  challenger,  he  spurned  his  letter  of  defiance, 
and  would  make  no  retraction  ;  whereupon  the  belli- 
cose Mornington  subsided.  In  1410  Henry  the 
Fourth,  of  England,  declined  to  meet  the  Scotch  Duke 
of  Rothsay  in  a  personal  encounter.  In  1402  Henry 
declined  a  challenge  from  Louis,  the  Duke  of  Orleans, 
on  the  ground,  so  his  majesty  declared,  that  he  knew 
"  of  no  precedent  which  offered  the  example  of  a 
crowned  king  entering  the  lists  to  fight  a  duel  with  a 
subject,  however  high  the  rank  of  that  subject  might 
be."  In  1196  Richard  the  First,  of  England,  refused 
a  like  cartel  of  defiance  from  Philip  the  Second,  of 
France.  General  Lemery,  of  New  York,  was  chal- 
lenged by  Monsieur  Angero,  in  1852,  and  declined  ; 
partly  on  the  ground  that  his  official  acts  were  not 
amenable  on  individual  appeals  for  satisfaction,  and 
partly  because  it  would  be  a  violation  of  his  military 
rank,  and  also  a  violation  of  the  law  of  the  State  of 
New  York.  On  May  3,  1852,  ex-Congressman  John 
Barney,  of  Maryland,  challenged  Monsieur  Sartiges, 
Minister  of  France  to  the  United  States,  which  the 
latter  declined. 

During  1867,  in  a  debate  in  the  French  Legislature 
upon  books  for  a  public  library,  M.  St.  Beuve  took 
occasion  to  vindicate  the  character  of  the  creations  of 
George  Sand,  Ernest  Renan,  and  Pelletan,  when  he 
was  violently  interrupted  by  M.  Lacaze,  but  pursued 
the  even  tenor  of  his  course  just  as  though  no  rude- 
ness had  been  displayed.  For  this  "  offence"  the  cele- 
brated French  scholar  and  critic  was  challenged  to 
mortal  combat — not  that  he  had  actually  insulted 
Monsieur  Lacaze,  but  because  he  had,  according  to 
the  latter's  mercurial  interpretation,  "  betrayed  an  in- 
tention to  insult ;  and  such  design  should  be  unmis- 


THE  RAREST  KIND   OF  BRAVERY.  437 

takably  considered  as  equivalent  to  the  act" — which 
reminds  one  of  the  anecdote  of  the  Teuton  who  had 
thrashed  his  child  Hans,  not  because  the  youngster 
had  been  profane,  but  that  he  had  thought  "  Gott 
tarn."  St.  Beuve,  however,  declined  to  accept  the 
challenge,  but  addressed  to  M.  Lacaze  an  unimpas- 
sioned  letter,  setting  forth  his  reasons  for  such  action, 
in  which  he  said  that  he  preferred  "  not  to  accept 
that  summary  jurisprudence  which  consists  in  strang- 
ling a  question  and  suppressing  an  individual  at  one 
and  the  same  time.  Our  differences,  sir,  it  seems  to 
me,  should  be  settled  by  free  discussion  ;  for  my  own 
part,  I  propose  to  at  least  reflect  before  proceeding 
further  ;  for,  if  I  mistake  not,  I  shall  break  some  laws 
which  I  have  sworn  to  uphold  and  protect  if  I  accede 
to  your  proposition.  Besides,  there  is  no  gentleman 
among  all  my  friends  who  understands  properly  the 
etiquette  of  duelling,  which  does  not  mean,  sir,  that 
they  are  the  less  men  of  honor,  but  that  they  have 
taken  no  degree  of  Doctor  in  Arms."  Instead  of  act- 
ing the  gentleman,  upon  receiving  St.  Beuve's  excel- 
lent note,  Lacaze  raved  and  played  the  bully,  and 
sent  a  second  challenge,  couched  in  furious  terms,  to 
which  St.  Beuve  responded  in  less  gentle  but  in  no 
less  dignified  language.  To  use  an  Americanism,  he 
"sat  down"  so  ponderously  upon  "  Sir  Lucius  O'Trig- 
ger"  Lacaze,  in  expressing  his  absolute  refusal  to 
meet  him  in  mortal  combat,  that  the  bellicose  Gaul 
went  off  and  "  granulated." 

On  the  25th  of  March,  1854,  after  an  unusually  warm 
debate  in  Congress  between  Hon.  John  C.  Breckin- 
ridge,  of  Kentucky,  and  Hon.  Francis  B.  Cutting,  of 
New  York,  a  "correspondence"  passed  between  the 
two  gentlemen,  but  a  hostile  meeting  was  prevented 


43 8  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

by  the  interposition  of  four  courageous  men — Colonel 
Hawkins  and  Hon.  William  Preston,  of  Kentucky,  on 
the  part  of  Breckinridge,  and  Senator  Shields,  of 
Illinois,  and  Colonel  Monroe,  of  New  York,  for  Mr. 
Cutting.  On  October  25,  1803,  after  an  exciting  de- 
bate in  the  United  States  Senate  (the  day  before), 
Senator  Dayton,  -of  New  Jersey,  challenged  Senator 
De  Witt  Clinton,  of  New  York,  who  made  a  satisfac- 
tory explanation.  In  1853  Hon.  Richard  H.  Weight- 
man,  Delegate  to  Congress  from  New  Mexico,  re- 
ceived a  challenge  from  Francis  J.  Thomas,  and 
treated  it  with  contempt.  In  1681  Mr.  Williams, 
Speaker  of  the  House  of  Commons,  declined  to  re- 
ceive a  challenge  from  Sir  Robert  Peyton. 

Alexander  Skinner,  a  surgeon  in  the  Revolutionary 
army,  from  Maryland,  who  had  killed  one  man  in  a 
duel,  declined  all  challenges  thereafter,  on  the  ground, 
he  said,  that  "killing  a  fellow-man  does  not  become 
me,  set  apart  as  I  am  to  take  care  of  the  sick  and  the 
wounded,  and  to  do  all  in  my  power  to  prolong  and 
not  to  destroy  human  life." 

General  Houston,  after  his  meeting  with  General 
White,  declined  at  least  two,  if  not  three  or  four, 
duels.  He  treated  with  indifference  a  challenge  from 
Commodore  E.  W.  Moore,  of  the  Texan  navy,  in  1845; 
and  in  his  remarks  explaining  why  he  declined  a 
meeting  with  Judge  Burnett  he  said  :  "  I  objected  to 
it,  first,  on  the  ground  that  we  were  to  have  but  one 
second,  and  that  was  the  man  who  brought  the  chal- 
lenge. Another  objection  was  that  we  were  to  meet 
on  Sunday  morning,  and  I  did  not  think  that  any- 
thing was  to  be  made  by  fighting  on  that  day.  The 
third  objection  was  that  he  was  a  good  Christian, 
and  had  had  his  child  baptized  the  Sunday  before. 


THE  RAREST  KIND   OF  BRA  VER  Y.  439 

The  fourth  was  that  I  never  fought  down  hill,  and  I 
never  would.  I  must,  at  least,  make  character,  if  I 
did  not  lose  my  life  ;  and,  therefore,  I  notified  him  in 
that  way.  He  seemed  to  be  satisfied  with  this  good- 
humored  answer,  and  it  is  the  only  challenge  I  have 
ever  received  in  Texas.  And  I  will  avail  myself  of 
this  occasion  now  to  declare  that  I  never  made  a 
quarrel  with  a  mortal  man  on  earth  ;  nor  will  I  ever 
do  anything  to  originate  a  quarrel  with  any  man, 
woman,  or  child  living.  If  they  quarrel  with  me,  it  is 
their  privilege  ;  but  I  shall  try  to  take  care  that  they  do 
me  no  harm" 

The  great  Raleigh,  after  having  killed  a  number  of 
men  in  duels,  at  last  made  a  solemn  vow  never  again  to 
send  or  accept  a  challenge  ;  and  he  kept  his  word. 
One  day,  however,  a  young  man,  while  disput- 
ing with  him,  challenged  Raleigh,  and  then  spat  in 
his  face  ;  at  which  Sir  Walter  took  out  his  handker- 
chief, and,  wiping  his  face,  said  :  "  Young  man,  if  I 
could  as  easily  wipe  from  my  conscience  the  stain  of 
killing  you  as  I  can  this  spittle  from  my  face,  you 
should  not  live  another  minute." 

General  Sumner,  who  fell  in  battle  during  the  War 
of  the  Rebellion,  once  sent  a  challenge  to  General 
Harney,  who  not  only  declined  to  accept  it,  but  saw 
to  it  that  his  distinguished  antagonist  was  court-mar- 
tialled,  the  proceedings  of  which  took  place  at  Carlisle 
Barracks  (Pa.).  Harney  was  also  once  challenged  by 
Lieutenant  Ihrie,  U.  S.  A. 

Two  French  noblemen  (the  Marquis  de  Valaze 
and  the  Count  de  Merci),  who  had  been  educated  and 
brought  up  together,  and  who  had  never  stained 
their  attachment  by  word  or  act,  one  evening  quar- 
relled in  a  gaming-house,  during  which  the  Count,  in 


440  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

a  fit  of  rage  superinduced  by  ill-success  at  play  and 
frequent  indulgence  in  burgundy,  threw  a  dice-box  in 
the  face  of  his  friend,  who  had  exulted  a  good  deal 
over  his  own  good  luck.  In  an  instant  the  entire  com- 
pany were  in  amazement,  and  awaited  breathlessly 
the  moment  in  which  the  Marquis  would  plunge  his 
sword  into  the  bosom  of  the  offender,  or  invite  the 
Count  to  meet  him  in  mortal  combat.  But  the  Mar- 
quis did  neither.  How,  then,  did  he  interpret  the 
prevailing  laws  of  honor?  Nobly?  Yes.  "Gentle- 
men," he  exclaimed,  coolly  and  grandly,  "I  am  a 
Frenchman,  a  soldier,  and  a  friend.  I  have  received 
a  blow  from  a  Frenchman,  a  soldier,  and  a  friend.  I 
know  and  I  acknowledge  the  laws  of  honor,  and  will 
obey  them.  Every  man  who  sees  me  wonders  why  I 
am  tardy  in  putting  to  death  the  author  of  my  dis- 
grace. But,  gentlemen,  the  heart  of  that  man  is  en- 
twined with  my  own.  Our  days,  our  education,  our 
temperaments,  and  our  friendships  are  coeval.  But, 
Frenchmen,  I  will  obey  the  laws  of  honor  and  of 
France,  and  stab  my  assailant  to  the  heart.'*  So  say- 
ing, the  Marquis  threw  his  arms  around  his  unhappy 
friend,  and  said  :  "  My  dear  De  Merci,  I  forgive  you? 
if  you  deign  to  forgive  me  for  the  irritations  I  have 
given  to  a  sensitive  mind  by  the  levity  of  my  own." 
This  noble  conduct  was  applauded  by  all  present;  the 
pardon  of  the  Count  was  sealed  by  the  embraces  of 
the  Marquis,  and  the  king  so  far  approved  of  the 
conduct  of  the  two  friends  that  he  gave  them  the 
cordon  bleu. 

In  the  year  1778  Sir  John  Dalrymple — one  of  the 
Barons  of  the  Court  of  Exchequer  in  Scotland — wrote 
three  letters  to  Lord  Barrington,  then  Secretary  at 
War,  arraigning  his  lordship's  official  conduct  with 


THE  RAREST  KIND   OF  BRA' VERY.  44! 

respect  to  a  younger  brother  of  the  former,  who  had 
unquestionably  been  badly  used  by  the  Secretary. 
In  reply,  Harrington  sent  Sir  John  a  message  de- 
manding the  satisfaction  due  from  one  gentleman  to 
another  under  such  circumstances.  This  was  de- 
clined by  Sir  John,  who,  among  other  things,  said  : 
"In  the  first  place,  your  lordship  knows  perfectly  well 
that,  by  my  oath  of  office,  I  cannot  accept  a  challenge 
or  fight  a  duel.  If,  therefore,  you  send  me  a  challenge 
in  Scotland,  and  I  am  apprised  of  its  contents,  I  will 
return  it  to  you  unopened,"  etc. 

Shortly  after  his  duel  with  Colonel  Laurens,  Gen- 
eral Charles  Lee  became  embroiled  in  a  quarrel  with 
William  Henry  Drayton,  Chief-Justice  of  South  Caro- 
lina, and  challenged  him  to  mortal  combat.  The  hon- 
orable Judge  declined  the  meeting,  however,  and  re- 
plied by  saying  that  he  was  not  bound  "  to  sacrifice  his 
public  reputation  and  outrage  public  character  merely 
to  gratify  General  Lee  in  the  line  of  his  profession." 

In  1785  Captain  Gunn,  of  Georgia,  challenged  Gen- 
eral Nathaniel  Greene,  who  declined.  Upon  the  re- 
ceipt of  Greene's  letter  of  refusal,  Gunn  sent  a  second 
hostile  invitation,  which  was  treated  as  before.  Gunn 
then  threatened  a  personal  assault,  to  which  Greene 
replied  that  he  always  carried  pistols.  Under  some 
apprehension,  however,  that  his  conduct  might  be 
misinterpreted,  General  Greene  acquainted  General 
Washington  with  a  detailed  description  of  the  whole 
affair,  and  besought  his  written  opinion,  to  which 
Washington  replied  :  "  I  give  it  as  my  opinion  that 
your  honor  and  reputation  will  stand  not  only  per- 
fectly acquitted  with  the  non-acceptance  of  Gunn's 
challenge,  but  that  your  prudence  and  judgment 
would  have  been  condemned  by  accepting  it — be- 


442  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

cause,  if  an  officer  is  amenable  to  the  private  difficul- 
ties which  the  discharge  of  his  duty  may  occasion,  he 
can  never  move  to  the  right  or  left,  as  there  are  few 
military  decisions  which  are  not  offensive  to  one  party 
or  another." 

In  1850  a  misunderstanding  arose  between  Fabius 
Stanley  and  Zechariah  F.  Johnston,  officers  of  the 
United  States  Navy,  after  which  the  former  sent  the 
latter  a  challenge,  which  was  declined.  Subsequently 
Stanley  "  posted "  Johnston  at  the  National  Hotel, 
Washington  (D.  C.),  as  a  coward,  and  was  afterward 
tried  by  court-martial  and  dismissed  from  the  navy. 

Among  other  eminent  Americans  who  have  de- 
clined to  fight  duels  may  be  mentioned  George  Wash- 
ington ;  General  Adair ;  John  Randolph,  who  re- 
ceived many  challenges,  and  who  fought  with  Clay  ; 
Charles  Cotesworth  Pinckney,  who  once  acted  as 
second  (for  General  Howe)  ;  Senator  Robert  Barn- 
well  Rhett,  although  the  provocations  and  insinua- 
tions by  Senator  Clemens  were  very  exasperating ; 
and  a  number  of  others. 

Michael  Le  Fancheur,  a  French  Protestant  minis- 
ter of  the  seventeenth  century,  once  preached  against 
duelling  so  eloquently  and  energetically  that  the 
Marquis  de  la  Force,  who  was  present  (as  were  also 
many  other  military  men),  declared,  in  the  presence 
of  all  assembled,  that  he  would  never  thereafter  chal- 
lenge a  man  to  mortal  combat  or  accept  a  challenge. 
And  the  brave  soldier  kept  his  word — thanks  to  the 
charms  of  Fancheur's  animated  delivery,  reasoning, 
and  pathos. 

Early  in  1884  John  S.  Wise  (member  of  Congress 
from  the  Richmond  district  of  Virginia)  published  in 
the  Richmond  (Va.)  Whig  a  card  repeating  his  reso- 


THE  RAREST  KIND   OF  BRAVERY.  443 

lution  never  again  to  recognize  the  practice  of  duel- 
ling. He  makes  this  declaration  public,  he  says,  be- 
cause there  are  those  who  expect  him  to  resent 
several  assaults  of  late  appearing  in  newspapers, 
especially  in  the  paper  called  the  Campaign.  In  refer- 
ence to  W.  Page  McCarty,  Mr.  Wise  says  :  "  He  may 
play  Sir  Lucius  OTrigger  to  his  heart's  content, 
boasting  of  his  ancestry  (every  one  of  whom  has 
killed  his  man),  his  family  portraits  and  honor,  but  he 
must  find  somebody  else  than  me  to  kill  him.  With 
a  sweet  home,  filled  with  merry  children,  with  enough 
to  live  comfortably,  with  a  paying  profession,  I  am 
happy  and  want  to  live.  In  God's  name,  what  would 
a  man  like  Page  McCarty  put  in  stake  against  this 
when  we  stood  at  ten  paces  with  pistols  ?  His  abuse 
of  me  has  no  more  effect  than  a  dog  barking  at  the 
moon.  His  invitation  comes  too  late.  Time  has 
been  when  I  might  have  been  fool  enough  to  indulge 
in  such  folly,  but  with  age,  and  a  broader  view  of  life 
and  its  responsibilities  and  duties,  I  have  bidden  fare- 
well forever  to  the  McCarty  type  of  manhood." 

A  general  officer  of  the  British  army,  who  had 
been  forty  odd  years  in  the  service — and  an  Irishman 
at  that — and  who  used  to  boast  that  he  had  never 
sent  or  accepted  of  a  single  challenge,  used  to  relate 
the  manner  in  which  he  was  wont  to  meet  and  satisfy 
demands  of  this  sort  :  "  I  once  provoked  the  resent- 
ment of  a  brother-officer,  who  was  much  respected 
and  beloved  by  all  the  corps.  His  behavior  upon 
some  occasions  I  esteemed  in  a  slight  degree  repre- 
hensible, in  the  expression  of  which  I  used  a  term  of 
more  opprobrious  import  than  I  apprehended.  Fired 
at  the  supposed  affront,  he  retorted  first  the  injuri- 
ous words,  then  quitted  the  company,  and  sent  me  a 


444  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

challenge.  I  returned  him  word  that  I  hoped  upon 
explanation  he  would  not  compel  me  to  fight,  yet 
would  meet  him  immediately,  according  to  appoint- 
ment. I  went,  attended  by  all  the  witnesses  of  my 
unguarded  expression ;  and  before  these  I  readily 
took  the  shame  to  myself,  and  apologized  for  utter- 
ances that  ought  not  to  have  been  made.  But  as  I 
began  to  assume  an  air  of  expostulation,  in  my  turn, 
he  reddened,  hesitated  a  moment,  then  drew  his 
sword,  advanced,  and  obliged  me  to  defend  myself, 
which  I  did,  against  a  desperate  thrust,  with  mine  in 
the  scabbard.  He  no  sooner  perceived  that  circum- 
stance than  he  surprised  us  all  by  throwing  his  sword 
away,  bursting  into  a  flood  of  tears,  and  throwing 
himself  on  his  knees,  in  speechless  agitation  of  mind. 
I  at  once  raised  him  and  embraced  him,  which  affec- 
tionate act  he  returned  cordially,  and  forever  after- 
ward we  were  perfect  friends." 

The  Danziger  Zeitung  (says  the  Hebrew  Leader]  re- 
ports an  instructive  story  of  a  challenge  to  a  duel 
the  scene  of  which  was  laid  in  the  little  town  of  Ro- 
senberg, in  the  province  of  West  Prussia.  A  civil  offi- 
cial, who  is  said  to  be  a  modern  Draco  in  his  small 
sphere,  gave  great  offence  to  a  lieutenant  who  had 
appeared  as  a  witness  in  some  local  quarrel.  They 
had  some  correspondence  over  the  matter,  in  which 
the  civilian  had  evidently  the  best  of  it,  for  he  re- 
ceived a  letter  from  the  young  lieutenant  which  con- 
tained the  following  words  :  "  With  the  pen  you  are 
more  than  a  match  for  me  ;  but  I  have  various  swords 
at  home  with  which  I  can  justify  my  views  of  you 
better  than  with  a  pen.  I  offer  you  the  choice  of  one 
of  them,  that  we  may  continue  our  argument  on  more 
equal  terms."  The  official  replied  that  he  had  not 


THE  RAREST  KIND   OF  BRAVERY.  44$ 

used  a  sword  for  many  years,  and  that  he  supposed 
the  invitation  to  a  duel  was  a  boyish  joke.  Here- 
upon the  lieutenant  declared  that  he  was  never  more 
in  earnest,  that  his  honor  must  be  vindicated,  and 
that  he  was  quite  willing  to  try  conclusions  with  pis- 
tols. The  civilian  answered  that  if  fighting  were 
absolutely  necessary  he  could  not  refuse  the  chal- 
lenge, but  that  he  was  bound  to- make  one  prelimi- 
nary condition.  "  I  have,  as  you  well  know,"  he 
wrote,  "a  wife  and  five  children,  for  whom  I  am 
bound  to  care  in  the  event  of  my  death  at  your 
hands.  My  present  yearly  income  is  forty-five  hun- 
dred marks.  I  require  you  to  pay  over  to  a  bank  a 
capital  sum  the  interest  of  which  will  correspond  to 
my  present  income,  so  that  it  may  yield  a  livelihood 
to  my  widow  and  fatherless  children.  For  this  pur- 
pose ninety  thousand  marks  will  exactly  suffice." 
The  young  fire-eater  replied  that  he  had  no  property 
beyond  his  pay,  and  that  he  could  not  possibly  raise 
so  immense  a  sum.  "  In  that  case,"  wrote  his  antag- 
onist, "  I  fear  that  our  duel  can  never  take  place.  A 
man  who  has  nothing  to  lose  except  his  own  life  will 
scarcely  expect  me  to  allow  him  to  shoot  me  and  to 
beggar  my  widow  and  children  without  any  sort  of 
equivalent."  The  correspondence  closed  with  some 
fatherly  and  common-sense  advice  to  the  thoughtless 
young  sabre-rattler,  who  was  eventually  brought  to 
acknowledge  the  absurdity  of  the  situation. 

General  Francis  Marion  while  in  service  at  the 
South,  during  the  Revolutionary  War,  expelled  two 
officers  from  his  brigade  for  numerous  offences 
against  humanity,  and  posted  upon  trees  and  houses, 

in  public  places,  proclamations  that  Major  and 

Captain  were  robbers  and  thieves,  and  as  out- 


446  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

laws  might  be  killed  wherever  found.  One  of  them 
challenged  him  to  single  combat ;  but  he  treated  the 
call  with  contempt.  Subsequently  Marion  received  a 
cartel  from  Major  Mcllraith,  of  the  royal  army,  to 
meet  in  combat  in  the  open  field.  Marion,  in  reply, 
expressed  his  readiness  for  a  fight  between  twenty 
picked  soldiers  on  each  side,  according  to  the  custom 
of  the  days  of  chivalry.  Mcllraith  assented,  and 
agreed  upon  a  spot  near  an  oak-tree  (which  was 
standing  in  1821)  ;  but  after  the  parties  had  been 
selected,  and  formed  for  combat,  he  reconsidered  the 
matter,  and  withdrew  his  own  men  without  firing  a 
gun. 

In  1854  Hon.  Morton  McMichael  (editor  of  the 
Philadelphia  North  American  and  United  States  Ga- 
zette] was  challenged  by  Hon.  James  Cooper,  U.  S. 
Senator  from  Pennsylvania,  and  declined. 

In  1826,  at  Andover  (England),  Messrs.  Fleet  and 
Mann  (attorneys)  fell  out  at  a  meeting  under  a  com- 
mission of  bankruptcy,  and  on  the  24th  of  July  the 
former  (a  bachelor)  sent  the  latter  (a  married  man) 
a  challenge,  which  was  poetically  declined  as  follows  : 

I  am  honored  this  day,  sir,  with  challenges  two, 
The  first  from  friend  Langdon,  the  second  from  you  ; 
As  the  one  is  \.Q  fight,  and  the  other  to  dine, 
I  accept  his  "  engagement,"  and  yours  must  decline. 
Now,  in  giving  this  preference,  I  trust  you'll  admit 
I  have  acted  with  prudence,  and  done  what  was  fit, 
Since  encountering  him,  and  my  weapon  a  knife, 
There  is  some  little  chance  of  preserving  my  life ; 
Whilst  a  bullet  from  you,  sir,  might  take  it  away, 
And  the  maxim,  you  know,  is  to  live  while  you  may. 
If,  however,  you  still  should  suppose  I  ill-treat  you 
By  sternly  rejecting  this  challenge  to  meet  you. 


THE  RAREST  KIND   OF  BRAVERY.  447 

Bear  with  me  a  moment,  and  I  will  adduce 
Three  powerful  reasons  by  way  of  excuse : 
In  the  first  place,  unless  I  am  grossly  deceived, 
I  myself  am  in  conscience  the  party  aggrieved ; 
And  therefore,  good  sir,  if  a  challenge  must  be, 
Pray  wait  till  that  challenge  be  tendered  by  me. 
Again,  sir,  I  think  it  by  far  the  more  sinful 
To  stand  and  be  shot  than  to  sit  for  a  skinful ; 
From  whence  you'll  conclude  (as  I'd  have  you  indeed) 
That  fighting  composes  not  part  of  my  creed — 
And  my  courage  (which,  though  it  was  never  disputed, 
Is  not,  I  imagine,  too,  too  deeply  rooted) 
Would  prefer  that  its  fruit,  sir,  whate'er  it  may  yield, 
Should  appear  at  "the  table,"  and  not  in  "  the  field" 
And  lastly,  my  life,  be  it  never  forgot, 
Possesses  a  value  which  yours,  sir,  does  not; 
So  I  mean  to  preserve  it  as  long  as  I  can, 
Being  justly  entitled  "  a  family  Mann" 
With  three  or  four  children  (I  scarce  know  how  many), 
Whilst  you,  sir,  have  not,  or  ought  not  to  have,  any. 
Besides,  that  the  contest  would  be  too  unequal, 
I  doubt  not  will  plainly  appear  by  the  sequel : 
For  e'en_y0#  must  acknowledge  it  would  not  be  meet 
That  one  small  "  Mann  of  war"  should  engage  "  a  whole 
Fleet? 


448  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 


CHAPTER   XXV. 

DUELLISTS  OF  MANY  TYPES. 

Conspicuous  American,  French,  English,  and  Irish  Duellists — 
John  Smith  and  Colonel  McClung — Duellists  who  were  little 
less  than  Murderers — Royal  Cut-Throats — Spectacular  Combats 
— Duelling  for  the  Very  Love  of  it— A  Group  of  Dashing  but 
Dangerous  Fellows — De  Cassagnac  and  De  Montebello — An 
Anecdote  of  Ludovico  de  Piles — D'Andrieux's  Seventy-third 
Victim — How  Gideon  Croquard  was  Killed — The  Diogenes  of 
the  Palais  Royal — A  Renowned  Type  of  the  Belligerent  Jour- 
nalist —  A  Genteel  and  Insinuating  Type  of  Scoundrel  — 
Parisian  Swordswomen — Jean  Louis,  the  Master  of  the  Foil 
and  Most  Remarkable  Swordsman  of  Any  Time — His  First  Duel 
— His  Career  in  the  Army  of  Napoleon  I. — His  Wonderful  Per- 
formance at  Madrid  in  the  Presence  of  the  French  Army  and 
almost  the  Entire  Population  of  the  Spanish  Capital — He 
Fights  and  Kills  or  Severely  Wounds  Thirteen  Italian  Masters 
of  the  Sword — He  Leaves  the  French  Service  at  the  Age  of 
Sixty-five  and  Dies  at  the  Age  of  Eighty,  almost  totally  Blind 
— The  Method  of  Jean  Louis  still  Adhered  to  by  Vigeant  and  the 
Other  Parisian  Fencing- Professors  of  the  Present  Day — Noted 
English  Duellists  —  Lord  Herbert  of  Cherbury  —  Sir  Henry 
Urton's  Challenge — Notable  Incidents  of  English  Chivalry — 
Irish  Duellists  —  One  Sand-Mark  Only  Left  —  The  "Happy 
Hunting-Ground  of  Satisfaction" — Famous  Duellists  of  All 
Countries. 

THERE  are  duellists  and  duellists.  Webster  defines 
duellist  as  "  One  who  fights  in  single  combat;"  and 
Worcester,  as  "One  who  fights  duels."  According  to 
these  high  authorities — or,  at  least,  according  to  Wor- 


DUELLISTS  OF  MANY   TYPES.  449 

cester — all  men  who  have  fought  duels  have  been  or  are 
duellists.  This  is  neither  an  agreeable  nor  an  accept- 
able conclusion.  We  assume  that  the  great  majority 
of  men  who  have  fought  duels — particularly  during 
the  past  one  hundred  years — are  not  duellists;  just  as 
there  are  gentlemen  who  sometimes  engage  in  street- 
fights  or  get  the  worst  of  it  with  John  Barleycorn  who 
are  neither  fighters  nor  drunkards.  Hume  defines 
duellist  as  follows:  "  One  who  always  values  himself 
upon  his  courage,  his  sense  of  honor,  his  fidelity  and 
friendship."  Even  this  is  not  entirely  satisfactory. 
We  should  define  duellist  thus:  "A  professional 
fighter  of  duels;  an  admirer  and  advocate  of  the 
code  duello."  Neither  Hamilton,  Burr,  Cilley,  Graves, 
Houston,  Barron,  Broderick,  nor  Terry  was  a  profes- 
sional duellist.  A  number  of  these  gentlemen  were 
"dead  shots,"  and  some  of  them — or  others  who  might 
be  mentioned — practised  at  marks  immediately  pre- 
ceding their  hostile  encounters;  yet  none  of  these 
were  duellists,  in  the  proper  acceptation  of  the  term. 
Stephen  Decatur,  who  was  principal  in  two  duels,  and 
who  was  also  second  in  two  or  three,  and  who  be- 
lieved in  the  adjustment  of  private  quarrels  according 
to  the  code  duello,  was  really  averse  to  duelling,  and 
maintained  that  he  was  no  duellist.  John  Smith,  the 
Father  of  Virginia,  was  a  professional  duellist,  and 
killed  a  score  of  men  while  in  the  service  of  Ferdinand, 
Archduke  of  Austria.  The  following  anecdote  is  re- 
lated of  Smith: 

Early  in  the  seventeenth  or  near  the  close  of  the  sixteenth 
century,  while  Smith  was  in  the  service  of  Ferdinand,  Arch- 
duke of  Austria,  the  Turks  gave  a  challenge  to  any  single 
officer  of  the  Austrians,  saying  that  the  Lord  Turbisha  would 
fight  a  Christian  "  for  the  diversion  of  the  ladies."  The 


45°  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

choice  in  the  Austrian  camp  was  by  lot,  and  fell  upon 
Smith,  who  fought  and  slew  the  Turk  "  within  sight  of  the 
ladies"  assembled  on  the  ramparts,  and  carried  his  head  to 
camp.  Thereupon  a  friend  of  Turbisha  sent  a  particular 
defiance  to  Smith,  who,  to  divert  the  Turkish  ladies  still 
further,  accepted  it,  met  his  antagonist,  and  killed  him  also. 
The  victor  then  sent  a  message  to  the  fair  spectators  that,  if 
bent  on  still  another  combat  for  their  amusement,  they  were 
welcome  to  his  head  provided  they  would  find  a  champion 
to  take  it.  Bonamlegro  accordingly  appeared.  In  this  con- 
test Smith  was  dismounted  and  nearly  overcome,  but,  regain- 
ing his  saddle,  he  inflicted  a  mortal  wound,  and  was  thus  a 
third  time  victorious. 

One  of  the  most  noted  and  most  dangerous  of 
American  duellists  was  Colonel  McClung,  a  fellow- 
officer  with  Jeff.  Davis  in  the  First  Mississippi  Rifles, 
and  who  served  with  distinction  in  the  Mexican  War. 
McClung  came  of  a  good  Virginia  family,  being  a 
nephew  of  Chief-Justice  Marshall;  but  when  under 
the  influence  of  liquor  was  morose  and  dictatorial. 
He  moved  to  Mississippi  in  1834,  and  had  been  in  the 
State  only  a  few  months  when  he  became  involved  in 
a  quarrel  with  Colonel  Allen,  one  of  the  most  beloved 
and  honored  men  in  Mississippi.  It  was  "a  trivial 
quarrel,  but  McClung  refused  to  allow  of  any  settle- 
ment, and  brought  the  affair  to  a  duel.  The  terms 
were  such  as  would  have  seemed  extraordinary  to  the 
Creole  admirers  of  the  code,  says  some  writer,  and  it 
is  doubtful  whether  they  would  have  recognized  it  as 
a  legitimate  duel.  The  two  antagonists  were  to  stand 
forty  paces  apart,  armed  with  bowie-knife  and  pistol, 
and  were  to  advance  on  each  other,  firing  at  discretion. 
Allen  kept  his  pistol  covering  McClung  as  he  slowly 
advanced  upon  him.  What  was  the  surprise  of  the 
audience  to  see  McClung  suddenly  raise  his  pistol, 


DUELLISTS  OF  MANY   TYPES.  451 

aim  and  fire  at  a  distance  of  over  one  hundred  feet! 
Allen  fell  to  the  ground,  shot  through  the  mouth  and 
mortally  wounded.  McClung's  shot  on  this  occasion  is 
the  best  on  record  in  a  Southern  duel,  one  hundred 
feet  being  a  much  longer  range  than  the  duelling- 
pistol  is  suited  to.  This  was  only  one  of  McClung's 
many  affairs,  in  all  of  which  his  opponents  were  killed, 
one  of  them  being  his  own  cousin.  His  last  fight  was 
with  a  young  man  by  the  name  of  Menefee,  who  was 
killed. 

Andrew  Jackson,  Charles  Lee,  Henry  S.  Foote,  and 
a  great  many  other  eminent  Americans,  had  the  repu- 
tation of  being  duellists — and  so  they  were,  according 
to  Webster;  so,  also,  according  to  the  same  authority, 
were  Cain  and  Abel,  David  and  Goliath,  Jonathan 
and  Pudens  and  ^Eneas  and  Diomede.  The  reader 
may  satisfy  himself  on  this  point,  if  he  can.  . 

There  have  lived  many  French  duellists  who  were 
little  less  than  murderers — De  Vitaux  himself  having 
killed  a  score  of  men,  at  least — a  number  of  whom 
were  of  the  gilded  youth  of  the  French  capital. 
Goumelieu  took  great  pleasure  in  killing  young  men, 
two  of  his  victims  (one  of  whom  was  Vitaux's  brother) 
having  been  under  sixteen  years  of  age.  Goumelieu 
was  afterward  killed  by  the  elder  Vitaux.  The  latter, 
however,  who  had  been  known  as  the  paragon  swords- 
man of  France,  was  at  last  despatched  by  Baron  de 
Mittaud.  Du  Vighan,  one  of  the  most  charming 
men  of  his  day,  was  a  noted  duellist,  but  was  sent  to 
his  last  account  by  Baron  d'Ugeon,  who  wounded  Du 
Vighan  in  three  places,  from  which  wounds  the  latter 
died.  Bourcicaut,  Crillon,  Saint  Phal,  and  De  Cler- 
mont  were  among  the  royal  cut-throats  of  the  reign 
of  Henry  III.,  and  were  notable  experts  with  the 


45 2  THE  FIELD    OF  HONOR. 

sword.  Bussy  d'Amboise  never  lost  an  opportunity 
of  provoking  a  meeting,  but  he  was  at  last  over- 
matched. 

Inequality  of  arms  was  not  always  regarded  among 
French  duellists  as  murderous  or  unchivalrous  after 
the  decline  of  judicial  duelling.  The  challenged  per- 
son, having  a  right  to  choose  his  weapons,  often  en- 
deavored to  devise  such  as  would  give  him  a  de- 
cidedly unfair  advantage.  Brantome  records  with 
applause  the  ingenuity  of  a  little  man  who,  being 
challenged  by  a  tall  Gascon,  made  choice  of  a  gorget 
so  constructed  that  his  gigantic  adversary  could  not 
stoop  his  neck  so  as  to  aim  his  blows  right.  Another 
had  two  swords  forged  of  a  temper  so  extremely  brit- 
tle that,  unless  used  with  particular  caution  and  in  a 
manner  to  which  he  daily  exercised  himself,  the  blade 
must  necessarily  fly  in  pieces.  Both  these  ingenious 
persons  killed  their  man  with  very  little  risk  or 
trouble,  and  with  no  less  applause,  it  would  seem, 
than  if  they  had  fought  without  any  guile;  such  was 
the  degenerate  spirit  of  the  times. 

It  was  during  the  reign  of  Henry  III.  that  the  cele- 
brated duel  between  Quelus  and  D'Entragues  was 
fought,  near  the  Porte  St.  Antoine,  in  which  the 
former  was  mortally  and  the  latter  dangerously 
wounded.  In  a  moment  after  the  two  principals  had 
crossed  swords,  Riberac  (one  of  the  seconds  of  Quelus) 
and  Maugerin  (one  of  D'Entragues'  seconds)  drew 
their  weapons  and  went  at  each  other  furiously  and 
continued  fighting  until  both  fell  dead.  Schomberg 
(another  second  of  Quelus),  a  German,  after  surveying 
the  bloody  field,  proposed  a  "  finish"  to  Livaret  (the 
remaining  second),  and  nearly  cut  off  the  whole  side 
of  the  face  of  the  Frenchman  at  the  first  slash;  but, 


DUELLISTS  OF  MANY   TYPES.  453 

in  return,  was  run  through  the  body  by  Livaret,  who 
fell  afterward  in  a  duel  with  the  Marquis  de  Pienne, 
the  latter  being  assassinated  by  a  valet  of  Livaret 
while  leaving  the  field.  It  will  be  seen  that  four  out 
of  the  six  combatants  in  this  duel  were  stretched  out 
cold,  while  the  other  two  were  wounded,  one  mor- 
tally and  the  other  severely. 

Although  Louis  XIII.  frowned  upon  the  custom, 
duelling  was  carried  on  through  his  reign  with  no 
evidences  of  abatement.  The  nobility,  in  particular, 
even  more  than  army  officers,  caught  the  infectious 
complaint.  It  was  during  this  king's  reign  that  duel- 
ling became  more  and  more  spectacular,  from  the  fact 
that  there  were  seldom  encounters  in  which  there 
were  not  two  or  more  seconds  who  participated. 
When  Montmorency  le  Comte  de  Botteville  fought  De 
Beuvron  in  the  Palais  Royal,  in  1627,  there  were  two 
seconds  on  each  side,  one  of  whom  (De  Bussy)  was 
killed  outright  and  the  other  (La  Bertha)  mortally 
wounded.  The  principals  fought  more  than  an  hour 
with  swords  and  daggers,  and  at  last  fell  from  wounds 
and  exhaustion;  but  both  recovered.  De  Botteville 
killed  a  number  of  noted  duellists  during  his  time, 
among  whom  were  the  Comte  de  Pontgibaud,  Le 
Comte  de  Thorigny,  Marquis  de  Portes,  La  Frete,  and 
others.  He  was  at  last  tried  for  murder,  and  shortly 
afterward  closed  his  career  on  the  guillotine,  at  the 
instigation  of  Cardinal  Richelieu. 

In  1652,  during  the  reign  of  Louis  XIV.,  Due  de 
Nemours  and  Due  de  Beaufort  fought  a  duel  with 
swords  and  pistols,  near  Versailles,  with  four  seconds 
each;  and  besides  Nemours,  who  was  shot  dead,  one 
of  his  seconds  (D'Henricourt)  was  killed  by  Marquis 
de  Villars,  and  also  one  of  Beaufort's  seconds  (De  Riz) 


454  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

by  the  Due  d'Uzerches.  Later  a  duel  took  place  be- 
tween Le  Comte  de  Coligny  and  De  Guise,  in  the 
Place  Royale,  and  Coligny  and  his  second  (De 
Bridieu)  were  both  mortally  wounded.  In  1660 
Rochefort,  Des  Planches,  D'Harcourt,  De  Rieux,  La 
Frete,  and  De  Chalaix  were  all  expert  swordsmen.  In 
1663  the  two  latter  quarrelled  at  a  soiree,  and  after- 
ward met  with  three  seconds  each,  all  of  whom  fought 
with  swords  or  daggers  and  wounded  each  other; 
and  the  two  very  men  whom  the  king  sent  to  prevent 
the  duel  took  sides  and  participated  in  the  contest. 
So  incensed  was  the  king  at  such  gross  misdemeanor 
that  the  parties  all  skipped  by  the  light  of  the  moon 
to  avoid  merited  punishment. 

Later,  in  France,  came  the  Marquis  de  Donza,  who 
was  executed  for  killing  his  brother-in-law;  Brisseuil, 
Richebourg,  Du  Chamilly,  D'Aydie,  Bonton,  the 
Comte  de  Gace,  De  Richelieu  (that  fascinating  and 
wondrous  character,  over  whom  even  women  fought, 
and  who  became  a  Marshal  of  France,  who,  it  is  esti- 
mated, killed  seventeen  expert  swordsmen  during  his 
career  and  was  himself  wounded  but  once — by  Mar- 
quis d'Aumount),  De  Soissons,  De  Guerchy,  D'Eon, 
and  the  Marquis  de  Tenteniac — most  of  these  in 
Louis  the  Fifteenth's  reign.  In  1785  the  Comte  de 
Gersdoff  and  M.  le  Favre  fought  with  pistols,  but 
neither  was  hurt.  In  1826  the  Marquis  de  Livron 
and  M.  du  Trone  fought  on  horseback  with  sabres, 
and  both  were  wounded.  Since  then  there  have  come 
conspicuously  to  the  front  many  noted  French  duel- 
lists whose  names  are  familiar  to  readers  of  to-day — 
Emile  de  Girardin,  Fayan,  Garnarey,  Barthelemy, 
Dumas,  Trobriant,  De  Clemenceau,  Henri  Rochefort, 
and  Paul  de  Cassagnac  being  among  the  best  known. 


DUELLISTS  OF  MANY   TYPES.  455 

M.  Paul  de  Cassagnac  is  to-day  the  most  distin- 
guished and  most  dangerous  duellist  living,  and  is  an 
expert  with  sword  and  pistol.  His  meeting  with  M. 
de  Montebello,  in  1883,  was  described  briefly  as  follows 
in  a  Paris  despatch  to  the  London  Daily  Telegraph: 

The  duel  fought  yesterday  between  M.  Paul  de  Cassagnac 
and  M.  Adrien  de  Montebello  is,  after  the  ministerial  crisis, 
the  event  of  the  day.  There  has  been  for  some  time  a  bitter 
grudge  between  the  two,  which  was  aggravated  by  M.  de 
Montebello's  attempt  during  the  elections  to  wrest  the  con- 
stituency of  Mariadne,  originally  represented  by  M.  Granier 
de  Cassagnac,  from  his  son.  The  contest  was  keen,  but  the 
Bonapartist  triumphed,  nevertheless.  For  some  weeks 
there  seems  to  have  been  a  sort  of  truce,  but  M.  Paul  de 
Cassagnac  took  offence  at  M.  de  Montebello  congratulating 
M.  Clemen ceau  on  his  attack  on  the  government,  and  on 
the  following  day  the  Pays  appeared  with  a  furious  article 
against  M.  Leon  Say's  chief  secretary,  from  its  impetuous  edi- 
tor's own  pen.  The  insult  was  too  gross  to  be  passed  over, 
and  M.  Adrien  de  Montebello  accordingly  at  once  de- 
spatched two  of  his  friends — the  Vicomte  de  Saint  Pierre, 
Senator,  and  M.  Casimir  Perier,  Deputy — to  M.  Paul  de 
Cassagnac  for  the  purpose  of  arranging  the  preliminaries  of 
a  hostile  encounter.  These  gentlemen  were  promptly  joined 
by  Georges  Brame,  Deputy,  and  Commander  Blanc,  acting 
for  M.  de  Cassagnac,  and  it  was  settled  that  the  duel  should 
take  place  on  Saturday  afternoon  at  1.30  at  M.  Buloz's 
estate  at  Epinay-sur-Seine.  Punctual  to  the  minute,  prin- 
cipals and  seconds  appeared  at  the  trysting-place  yesterday, 
but  it  was  soon  perceived  that  the  ground  selected  would 
not  suit,  and  an  hour  was  spent  in  search  of  a  better  arena. 
Finally  a  spot  was  found  that  answered  every  requirement, 
and  the  adversaries  were  soon  face  to  face  with  each  other. 
It  was  a  battle  of  giants.  M.  de  Cassagnac  is  a  big,  heavy 
man,  rather  over  than  under  six  feet  in  height,  but  he  is 
small  in  comparison  to  M.  de  Montebello,  who  actually 
towers  above  him,  though  of  a  very  spare  build.  Both  are 


456  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

very  strong  and  admirable  fencers,  but  the  Bonapartist 
proved  himself  the  better  man  of  the  two.  After  a  pass  or 
two,  a  blue  vest  worn  by  M.  de  Montebello  was  pierced  by 
his  adversary's  sword,  and  he  exclaimed  that  he  thought  he 
was  touched  in  the  breast.  The  doctor  examined  the  place, 
but  found  no  wound,  and  the  combat  was  continued.  It 
was  at  the  fifth  pass  that  M.  de  Montebello  was  wounded  in 
the  right  arm,  M.  de  Cassagnac's  weapon  penetrating  to  the 
very  bone.  He  dropped  his  sword,  and  M.  de  Cassagnac, 
turning  to  his  seconds,  remarked  that  he  thought  it  was  all 
over,  as  he  felt  that  he  had  struck  home.  His  prediction 
proved  correct,  the  doctor  refusing  to  allow  the  combat  to 
be  continued.  It  is  affirmed  that  M.  de  Cassagnac  has 
declared  that,  although  he  had  already  fought  sixteen  duels, 
he  had  never  had  such  trouble  with  an  adversary  before. 

It  is  said  of  the  renowned  French  swordsmen, 
Ludovico  de  Piles  and  his  brother,  that,  one  day,  while 
journeying  toward  Paris,  they  stopped  over  at  an 
inn  at  Valence,  and,  seeing  a  spit  turning,  ordered 
supper.  "  I  can  only  give  you*  crackers  and  cheese," 
said  the  landlord.  "  Only  crackers  and  cheese !" 
cried  Ludovico,  in  anger  and  surprise;  "pray,  sir, 
whose  meat  is  that  on  the  spit  ?"  "  It  belongs  to  four 
French  officers."  "  Tell  them  that  two  French  gen- 
tlemen will  join  them."  The  landlord  carried  out 
his  instructions,  but  soon  returned  with  a  reply  that 
"the  officers  decline."  "They,  do?  Ah!  bring  us 
some  crackers  and  cheese,  and  have  an  apartment 
prepared  for  us  for  the  night."  The  brothers  arose 
early  the  next  morning  and  were  soon  on  their  way 
toward  Paris.  All  of  a  sudden  Ludovico  stopped  and 
said  to  his  brother:  "  I  have  left  my  purse  at  Valence. 
I  will  return  for  it,  while  you  go  your  way  slowly, 
and  I'll  overtake  you  before  evening."  He  then  hur- 
ried to  Valence,  challenged  the  four  officers,  and 


DUELLISTS  OF  MANY   TYPES.  457 

killed  them  all,  one  after  the  other.  He  rejoined  his 
brother  just  before  dinner-time,  but  did  not  mention 
the  episode  we  have  described.  Indeed,  it  was  a  year 
before  the  latter  heard  of  it,  and  then  it  was  from 
Cardinal  Mazarin.  These  brothers  De  Piles  fought 
many  duels,  but  were  never  hurt. 

The  Chevalier  d'Andrieux,  who  flourished  during 
the  reign  of  Louis  the  Thirteenth,  at  the  age  of  thirty 
had  killed  seventy-two  men.  Upon  meeting  his 
seventy-third  adversary,  the  latter  said,  "  Chevalier, 
you  will  be  my  tenth  man."  "  And  you  will  be  my 
seventy-third,"  answered  D'Andrieux;  which  proved 
to  be  true,  for  his  antagonist  was  laid  on  the  grass 
dead  in  a  minute.  A  notorious  fellow  named  Gautier, 
after  disarming  his  men  and  then  offering  them  their 
lives  if  they  would  renounce  their  hopes  of  salvation, 
often  cut  their  throats,  for  the  purpose,  as  he  claimed, 
of  killing  them,  body  and  soul.  Baron  d'Aspremont 
once  fought  and  killed  three  men  in  one  day.  Once, 
in  a  duel  of  three  against  three,  Baron  de  Bipon 
killed  his  man,  and  then  went  to  the  assistance  of  the 
others  on  his  side. 

Captain  Gideon  Croquard,  who  had  killed  two 
masters,  and  who  was  rated  as  one  of  the  most  ac- 
complished swordsmen  of  his  day  in  France,  lost  his 
life  by  coming  in  contact  with  the  wall  of  a  room  in 
which  he  was  fighting  with  St.  Foix.  These  two 
famous  duellists  met  at  a  cafe,  where  St.  Foix  had  or- 
dered a  repast,  and  which,  after  some  fine  fencing, 
he  agreed  to  share  with  Croquard,  "  except  the  des- 
sert," said  St.  Foix;  "  only  one  of  us  two  must  partake 
of  that — you  understand  ?"  Again  their  blades  came 
in  collision,  and  in  a  short  time,  while  being  pressed 
vigorously,  Croquard's  arm  came  in  contact  with  the 


458  THE  FIELD   OF  HONOR. 

wall  and,  quick  as  a  flash,  St.  Foix's  gleaming  steel 
passed  through  his  body.  St.  Foix  declared  that  the 
death  -  thrust  was  accidental,  and  had  Croquard 
buried  at  his  (the  survivor's)  expense.  St.  Foix  was 
born  at  Rennes,  and  died  at  an  advanced  age.  The 
Chevalier  Chanderclos-Laclos,  who  was  an  unprin- 
cipled plotter  against  Louis  XVI.,  was  a  blood-thirsty 
duellist,  and  died  at  Tarenta  in  1803. 

During  the  early  part  of  the  reign  of  Louis 
Philippe  there  lived  in  France  a  singular  character 
named  Duclos,  who  had  fought  successfully  eight- 
teen  duels  before  reaching  his  thirtieth  birthday.  He 
was  a  poor  devil,  but  an  expert  with  the  sword.  He 
was  often  seen  in  public  places,  hatless  and  shirtless, 
and  in  later  years  was  known  as  the  "Diogenes  of  the 
Palais  Royal."  He  lived  to  an  advanced  age,  but 
was  found  one  morning  dead  (with  his  sword  drawn), 
having  perished  during  the  preceding  night  from  the 
effects  of  cold  and  starvation. 

In  his  day  the  most  renowned  type  of  the  bellige- 
rent journalist  was  Cyrano  de  Bergerac,  who  never 
appeared  upon  the  boulevards  or  in  other  public 
places  without  a  pen  in  his  felt  hat  and  with  his 
hand  upon  his  rapier.  M.  de  Treville,  an  accom- 
plished swordsman,  fought  twenty  duels  with  actors 
and  authors  in  half  as  many  years.  Martainsville, 
Dessessarts,  and  Dazincourt  (all  actors)  were  excel- 
lent fellows  with  the  sword,  and  had  each  received 
cuts  in  other  than  fictitious  duels. 

Monsieur  Fayot  flourished  in  Paris  from  1820  to 
1850  as  an  accomplished  duellist,  being  a  good  swords- 
man and  a  dead  shot  with  the  pistol.  He  once 
wounded  the  well-known  General  Fournier,  one  of 
the  best  swordsmen  of  France  and